The Road Less Traveled for Khamzat Chimaev
“Ranking, shmankings,” said UFC CEO Dana White, but let’s get real: rankings in the MMA world do matter. They are the thermometer of the sport, even if they sometimes fail to measure the heat accurately. And speaking of heat, Khamzat Chimaev is on fire, albeit not without hiccups.
“Fear not, Khamzat fans, should he get past Paulo Costa at UFC 294 as expected, you’ll see him snatch a cherry spot in the middleweight rankings,” said an optimistic MMA analyst back in August.
Well, that forecast didn’t entirely materialize. Khamzat Chimaev did fight at UFC 294, but not against Paulo Costa. Instead, he faced former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Although Chimaev emerged victorious, it wasn’t the defining middleweight contest everyone was waiting for.
“Chimaev ultimately beat Usman in a fight where he was dominant for the first five minutes and then shaky for the next 10,” narrated the ringside reporter.
That performance did get Chimaev a #10 ranking on the middleweight charts, but what’s more interesting is what lies ahead. Dana White hinted that the winner of UFC 294’s co-main event was expected to challenge champion Sean Strickland. Will Chimaev get his championship shot soon? Time will tell.
Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski: A Short-lived Yet Fiery Rivalry
“It was a fun rivalry while it lasted, wasn’t it?” The words ring true for the short but electric face-off between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski. The result was a stunning head-kick knockout by Makhachev, putting a pause—perhaps permanently—on this bout sequence.
“Could Volkanovski have performed better with a full camp? Undoubtedly. Does the best version of Volkanovski beat Makhachev in their rematch? That, we don’t know,” mused a commentator.
While speculations can run wild, the fact remains that Makhachev has outperformed Volkanovski in their meetings so far. Where Makhachev goes next, especially with names like Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje in the lightweight division, adds extra spice to an already savory MMA dish.
The Light Heavyweight Saga: What’s the Deal?
Is the Light Heavyweight division cursed? Injuries to stars like Jiri Prochazka and Jamahal Hill have thrown the title scene into disarray. But the madness didn’t stop there. During a bout between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker, a restless ringside physician played a more active role than one would expect, leading to a controversial ending.
“Blame the doctor all you want, but it just feels like this division has been cursed,” said a concerned analyst.
With the vacant strap up for grabs between Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira at UFC 295 next month, fans are crossing their fingers for an undisputed, clear-cut winner to restore the division’s integrity.
October 2023 rankings updates.
From unpredictable rankings to canceled bouts and brewing rivalries, the world of MMA never ceases to amaze, shock, and sometimes even bewilder. But hey, that’s why we love it, right? Each storyline, each punch, each knockout brings something new to the table, making the sport an endless buffet of high-octane action and drama.
So buckle up MMA fans, because the rollercoaster ride of thrills and spills isn’t slowing down anytime soon.