Former two-time UFC welterweight title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson gave a detailed analysis of Chimaev’s abilities and weaknesses on his YouTube channel prior to ‘Borz’ stepping in against Burns at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
“He is one of, if not the most, anticipated prospects in MMA,” Thompson said of Chimaev.
Chimaev has several attributes that make him a threat to anyone on the UFC roster in perhaps two weight classes. His wrestling is elite. His size and strength have been noted by top level fighters in higher weight classes. He also has drive and determination to become the best in the world.
“It’s one thing to have skills, to have strength, and technique. But when you combine that with willpower, and the determination to win, you have a scary opponent right there in front of you,” Thompson said.
There’s no question that Chimaev’s grappling ability is world-class, but there are several unknowns about the 27-year old.
“We haven’t seen the other side of Khamzat Chimaev, just his wrestling. We don’t know what else he’s capable of,” Thompson said. “We haven’t seen how he handles adversity in the cage. We haven’t seen somebody backing him up on his heels. How does he handle the kind of stuff? We don’t know.”
No one has been able expose any weaknesses in Chimaev’s game so far. Unanswered questions doesn’t mean that Chimaev is lacking in other areas.
“We haven’t seen any of his weaknesses,” Thompson said. “Have you seen this guy get knocked down? Have you seen him get taken down? Have you seen him get submitted? No. What works against him? We don’t know. I think that’s what makes this guy so special.”
(Video Courtesy of Stephen Wonderboy Thompson)