Khamzat Chimaev defends UFC fighter pay, takes aim at Francis Ngannou

Khamzat Chimaev, the UFC’s most recent cash cow, has lent no credence when it comes to his peers’ complaints regarding the issue of fighter pay within the promotion.

Speaking with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in a recent interview, Chimaev took aim at fighters airing grievances about the issue – specifically current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who has discussed leaving the promotion when his contract expires early next year.

“If Dana calls me, ‘Let’s do these things,’ I do it,” Chimaev told Okamoto. “I appreciate it, what Dana and UFC did for me, you know? A lot of guys talking about ‘UFC don’t give us good money’ and those things. Go back, and where they’ve been, one, two, three years ago? They don’t remember that, you know? I was almost homeless, you know? Lots of guys as well.”

“And big guy, what’s his name? [Francis] Ngannou, he is talking about they don’t give him good money and all these things. And he was speaking about living outside before. Why don’t he do it right now? He has to appreciate everything that happened with him. He has to fight, fight, the money is coming.”

Ngannou’s tenure with the UFC began swimmingly, with the UFC expediting him towards a title shot; not dissimilar to Chimaev. But over seven years the glitz and glamor of the big show wore off, and relationships soured. With Chimaev having spent just two years under the Zuffa umbrella, the honeymoon period is clearly still in effect.

The AllStar MMA roundup

  1. Pro Tips: “Moicano wants money!” How to make UFC post-fight speeches
  2. The AllStar MMA Live: UFC Vegas 65 Reaction, Recap

The best of the rest

  1. Betting probe behind coach James Krause being pulled from UFC Vegas 65 –
  2. Derrick Lewis medically cleared after stomach issues scratched UFC Fight Night 215 headliner –
  3. Aljamain Sterling: Sean O’Malley ‘actually’ earned title shot, ‘just not excited’ about Henry Cejudo fight –
  4. Deiveson Figueiredo claims he has a spy ‘infiltrated’ in Brandon Moreno’s team ahead of UFC 283 –
  5. Leon Edwards can’t let go of 2019 altercation with Jorge Masvidal: ‘I have to get it back in the octagon or in the street’ –

The soapbox

Khamzat Chimaev calls for Alex Pereira on December 10th, less than a month away:

Nathaniel Wood wishes his former bantamweight peer well:

Gilbert Burns getting stuck in ahead of UFC 283:

Holly Holm sounds like she wants to box:

Michael Chandler isn’t letting up on the McGregor fight:

MMA reporter Oscar Willis makes the cage walk:

The morning view

Matt Frevola gives his take on Makhachev vs Volkanovski at UFC 284:

The Weasle breaks down Kennedy Nzechukwu’s UFC Vegas 65 performance:

Fight Front debunks MMA cornering myths:

A video that may hurt to watch: fighters getting KO’d in their retirement fights.

Brush up on some Glover Texeira tape ahead of UFC 282:

Done deals


  • Dan Ige to fight Damon Jackson at UFC Vegas 67 on January 14th (per Against the Fence)

UFC Roster Watch

Fighters removed this week:

Fighters Added this week:

Credit to UFC Roster Watch

On this day in MMA…

On the 21st of November, 2020, the newly crowned UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo made his first title defense at UFC 255 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Figueiredo drew Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Alex Perez, as the first challenger to his 125-pound throne. Perez’s only loss in the past four years was to veteran Joseph Benavidez, but still, he’d won 11 of his last 12 fights. The 28-year-old was a worthy opponent.

In the end, though, Perez’s accolades made no matter. The Brazilian champion took advantage of the challenger’s attempt at a single-leg takedown and forced a scramble. Perez, in an attempt to get back to his feet in haste, wound up with his neck firmly entrenched in a guillotine choke, just one minute and fifty-seven seconds into the first round.

Coincidentally, this is also the last time ‘Figgy’ faced an opponent not named Brandon Moreno, who he would draw with, lose to, and then win against in his last three bouts respectively over the two years since. The pair are booked for a historic fourth bout on the 21st of January, 2023.

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