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“That’s what the great ones do” – Chael Sonnen praises Khamzat Chimaev’s wrestling but questions his weight class

Chimaev wrestling

Chael Sonnen breaks down Khamzat Chimaev’s “extremely high level” wrestling.

Chael Sonnen is beginning to appreciate just how good Khamzat Chimaev’s wrestling is after seeing a video of him wrestling Jack Hermansson.

Sonnen is a big proponent of the re-shot in MMA wrestling and has claimed it is something that wrestling greats do.

He said: “He’ll hit the first double, just to get in, position to shoot the second double. He doesn’t finish the second double because he’s got the opponent out there knowing what they’re doing, he comes to the third shot. The first shot sets up the second shot, you finish on the third.

Why this separates the good from the great in Sonnen’s eyes, is that the mixture of cardio and confidence necessary to be sure you’ll catch the opponent on the third has to be there. As it can be tiring to try three attempts in a row, a fighter would want to make sure they complete the takedown by then so they aren’t so fatigued that they become vulnerable.

“That’s what the great ones do. The good ones don’t. Being good in the sport of MMA, ok fine but I can take all of that from you if I just cause you one scramble because now I know you’re not in condition. Every wrestler would agree with me. Shot sets up the next shot, sets up the one that you’re going to finish with.”

“Most wrestlers, one shot and that’s because they don’t have the cardio in. They don’t have the time in. That squeeze isn’t worth the juice if they’re not sure they can get on top. That is not what Chimaev did. Even in this small wrestling match.”

Weight discussion

One question this did raise for Sonnen was that of the best weight class for him. Chimaev is capable of fighting at 155lbs in Welterweight but Sonnen questions why he does when he seems capable of jumping up two weight classes to Light Heavyweight at 1185lbs.

“Jack Hermansson is a straight-up badass. Looks strong as can be, I said he weighs about 194, guys he could weigh closer to 200 lbs and he wasn’t bigger than Chimaev. That was another takeaway.

“Chimaev was another two inches taller and Chimaev was huge. They’re talking about him getting down to 170 lbs. I guess but why are we having that talk… It would seem as though 185 lbs is a pretty compelling weight.

“I’m not going to get my way on this. That’s not the direction this is going but I do have a new piece of evidence.”

Full breakdown below:

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