Just How Good Is Chimaev, the Chechen Wolf?

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In his first three UFC fights, Khamzat "Borz" Chimaev destroyed John Phillips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert by first-round TKO in a span of only 66 days and was named MMA Fighting's Breakout Fighter of the Year.  MMA fans and pundits are asking, "is he really THAT good?" 

In a word, yes.  

Nine fights into his professional career, the Chechen Wolf's stats show a fighter at the beginning of what is likely to become a long and historic UFC career filled with championship wins and title defenses. Chimaev has won all 12 contests over his combined professional and amateur career. Borz hasn't simply won; he has completely vanquished his opponents. Of his nine professional fights, he finished six in the first round and three before the halfway point of the second - three wins by submission and six by KO/TKO. 

Chimaev is destined for a long career. He has not had to endure the damage that can shorten MMA livelihoods. On average, his UFC fights have lasted only 2 min, 53 seconds. Over his professional career of nine fights, he has finished his work and left the octagon in an average of less than four minutes. He not only finishes fast, but also escapes punishment. In his three UFC fights, Chimaev has been hit only once, out-striking his opponents 87 to 1 and landing an unheard of 9.03 significant strikes per minute. 

Borz has a unique appearance due to a scar on his upper lip, which did not come from fighting. He got it at age two, when he fell down a flight of concrete stairs. He says he still has trouble breathing out of one side of his nose. 

While Chimaev has already earned a reputation as a power puncher, his wrestling skills are even better.  He was born in Chechnya, Russia on May 1, 1994, and began wrestling at five years old. At age 16, he won a bronze medal at the Russian National Championships. At age 17, he immigrated to Sweden and continued training as a competitive wrestler.  in 2018, shortly after he had begun MMA training, he won the gold medal for freestyle wrestling at the Swedish National Championships.  Although he was fighting MMA in the 170-pound weight class at the time, Chimaev fought for - and won - the gold medal for wrestling at 202 pounds because he wanted it to be a greater challenge. 

Chimaev has taken down his opponents three times out of four total attempts in his UFC career and has yet to be taken down. It is just a matter of time before we see the referee raise Chimaev's hand and hear Bruce Buffer's voice thunder, "the winner AND STILL CHAMPION!" 

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