‘Real deal’ Khamzat Chimaev’s coach reveals conversation with Kevin Holland in the cage immediately after fight at UFC 279

Khamzat Chimaev’s head coach Andreas Michael has revealed the conversation he had with Kevin Holland inside the octagon after the latter’s fight against ‘Borz.’ Chimaev fought Holland in a 180-pound catchweight bout at UFC 279 on Saturday, September 10.

Initially, Chimaev was set to face Nate Diaz in a welterweight (170-pound) bout, while Holland was scheduled to clash with Daniel Rodriguez in a 180-pound catchweight bout at UFC 279. However, after Chimaev missed weight at Friday’s weigh-ins, three of the UFC 279 main card fights were reshuffled.

‘Borz’ ultimately faced Holland in a 180-pound catchweight matchup and dominantly won via first-round submission without absorbing a single significant strike.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Andreas Michael revisited the fight and lauded Kevin Holland for agreeing to face Khamzat Chimaev on such short notice. Recalling their conversation after the fight, Michael stated:

“What we saw on Saturday was that Kevin Holland was a game fighter. Kevin Holland is dangerous. And Khamzat walked straight through him. Kevin came to me after the fight and said, ‘My God! This guy is the real deal.’ He said to me. He was in the cage. He goes, ‘He ain’t a joke. This is the real deal. He’s good, man. He’s good.'”

Michael added:

“‘I’ve been telling everyone,’ I said to him. ‘That you’re a warrior. You’re a f**king warrior, Kevin. You had the choice not to take the fight. And you took the hardest guy that you could find for you. Hat off to you because you got ba**s, man,’ I said to him.”

Watch Michael discuss the topic at 2:22:46 in the video below:


Josh Thomson criticizes Khamzat Chimaev for his lack of fight IQ

Khamzat Chimaev has impressed many with his dominance and could earn a welterweight title shot next year with another win in the division. However, former UFC lightweight Josh Thomson seemingly foresees trouble for ‘Borz’ in the future. He’s of the view that Chimaev wastes too much energy pursuing a first-round finish.

On the Weighing In podcast, Thomson warned that when Khamzat Chimaev faces someone who can survive the initial onslaught, he’ll gas out and inevitably lose. Lambasting Chimaev for his UFC 279 gameplan and fight IQ, ‘The Punk’ said:

”Chimaev is a good fighter. He’s got a lot of great gifts. Fight IQ is not one of them.”

Watch Thomson’s assessment at 38:10 in the video below:


Despite Khamzat Chimaev failing to make the welterweight limit in his most recent fight, the consensus is that he’s still very much in the 170-pound title picture.

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