Khamzat Chimaev is the name on everybody’s lips right now. The Checnyan-born, Swedish-based fighter is now 3-0 in the UFC. After two brutal victories in his first two fights with the promotion, he stopped Gerald Meerschaert in just 17 seconds. Furthermore, he absorbed just two strikes during these three fights.

However, one man isn’t impressed by the Russian’s rapid rise. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya insists that he has no interest in the promotion’s new rising star. ‘The Last Stylebender’ even claims that he didn’t watch any of Chimaev’s fights.

Now Chimaev has responded to Adesanya’s claims. Even though he is usually a welterweight, ‘The Wolf’ has fought twice at 185lbs so far in the promotion. It looks like he will bounce between the two divisions and fight Damian Maia next. But could a match-up with Adesanya occur down the line?

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Rat Lip

Adesanya attracted criticism after calling Chimaev ‘rat lip’ in an interview. Some fans think it’s hypocritical of him to criticize Colby Covington and then say something like this. Furthermore, he laughed at Chimaev’s trash talk attempts.

“I don’t even know the guy, I haven’t seen his fights yet,” Adesanya said to Yahoo! Sports. “I saw the presser and he was just talking s**t. He was just casting his net. Have you seen him fight? Rat lip? Meh …

“Tim said he fought low level competition,” Adesanya added. “So he thinks I’m an easy fight … that’s interesting. I mean, everyone does this when they’re coming up, casting the net wide. Yeah, keep casting.”

Win Bonus

Chimaev saw Adesanya’s comments and responded. In sum, the Russian is delighted that the champion is talking about him. That’s great for his future. In fact, you could call it a win bonus because this hype train is speeding up. The best response Adesanya could have made would have been to quote Conor McGregor. “Who the f**k is that guy?” Anyway, Chimaev tweeted:

@stylebender what do you said about me it will cost you your belt if you’re still the champion Good luck,”

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Title Defense

Meanwhile, Adesanya will fight Paulo Costa on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi at UFC 253. Costa and Adesanya have starkly contrasting styles. Firstly, Adesanya is a slick counter-striker with phenomenal movement. However, Costa is a brutal monster who relies on his strength and savagery to dominate opponents. But ‘Stylebender’ believes that he has a clear advantage. In sum, he thinks that he will dissect the Brazilian. This is his second title defense after beating Yoel Romero in a snoozefest.

“This is one of those fights that’s just tailor-made for me,” Adesanya said. “He thinks he’s just going to walk me down and that’s it. I implore him to try to do that, I implore him to keep that same energy, because he’s going to be in for a rude awakening before he wakes up on the floor.”

“I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly,” he said. “He’s going to try stalk pretty quickly, and I’ll be like ‘cool, alright, let’s go.’ Also, if he manages to survive the first few rounds—the first one and two rounds—I’m pretty sure by round two he’ll be gassed. It’s easy to knock someone out when they’re really tired.”

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