Alexander Gustafsson was full of praise for Khamzat Chimaev, even claiming that he has the potential to become one of the greats.
Alexander Gustafsson claims that training partner Khamzat Chimaev has the potential to be one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport.
In a division that already has such a dominant champ in Kamaru Usman, Gustafsson still isn’t deterred from saying he’s confident that Chimaev could take the reins.
“I think he would put Kamaru Usman to sleep, honestly,” said Gustaffson in an interview with ESPN MMA.
“I think he just touches his chin and it’s a big chance that Kamaru Usman goes to sleep.”
Gustafsson also made sure to point out that his praise of Chimaev didn’t take anything away from Usman.
“I like Kamaru Usman. He’s a great champ and he’s been breaking records.
“It’s a pleasure to see him fight because he’s very good technically. I love his jab and his wrestling and you know, you can see that he’s on top but I can’t see him taking Khamzat’s punches, I can’t see him taking his combinations.
“When it comes to the wrestling part, it would also be a pleasure to see because it would probably be one of the biggest fights in the history of the UFC when it comes to that part, you know, to see the technical side of the fight.”
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When asked by Brett Okamoto, if Chimaev has the potential to ‘be a Khabib Nurmagomedov’ or ‘a George Saint-Pierre’, Gustafsson argued that this is the level of potential that we’re looking at with Chimaev.
“That’s the level of potential, 100%.
“If he does it right from the start, if he just keeps doing what he’s doing now, he will be one of those guys one day. I’m 100% sure of that.”
Gustafsson is aware of how strong his claims are but as a fighter who has gone up against some of the best, he still maintains that Chimaev is something special.
“It is crazy when you say it because Kamaru Usman is, pound-for-pound, the best guy out there right now and I love the guy but it’s just that I’ve been sparring with so many guys in so many levels.
“In heavyweight, in light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight but this guy just puts guys away on the mats in the training sessions.
“I’ve been taking punches from heavyweights and this guy hits with too much precision, too much power, too much explosiveness.”
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