Dana White: We've never had anyone do what 'Borz' is doing

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Khamzat Chimaev exploded out of BRAVE Combat Federation into the UFC with two devastating wins, over John Phillips and Rhys McKee, setting a league record as they were just ten days apart. Now the UFC has booked "Borz" (Wolf) for two fights:
vs. Gerald Meerschaert at UFC on ESPN+ 36 on 9/19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada; and,
vs. two-time UFC title challenger Demian Maia in mid-November in Vegas. 

The latter fight was originally reported as being in October. In either case, Meerschaert is not impressed with the double booking.

“I keep saying it every time someone asks me, I find it disrespectful," he said, as transcribed by Milan Ordoñez for BE. "I find it disrespectful that the promotion thinks that they can just line this up and put out there in public. And I think it’s disrespectful that Chimaev, like completely OK with, like, ‘Oh yeah, line this guy up, I’ll beat him, I don’t got to cut a lot of weight and then I’ll go fight somebody else.’”

“So far in the UFC you’ve fought a lightweight that came up to welterweight for his debut and didn’t look that great. And then you fought a middleweight who had a rough weight cut and is really not that dangerous on the ground. He’s only dangerous if you stand up and slug with him."

“And now you’re gonna fight a middleweight who’s gonna be bigger, stronger, and my technique’s going to be way better in the grappling department. So to think that you can start setting up fights afterward against a guy [Maia] who, by the way, I’m tied with for most submissions in the middleweight division. If it’s not disrespectful then I don’t know what is.”

UFC president Dana White addressed Meerschaert's concerns at the DWCS Season 4: Week 6 post-fight press conference.

“I don’t know how that played out, but that’s how we’re doing it,” said White. “I told these guys, ‘Get him two fights. Get him one here in Vegas and one on Fight Island,’ and he’s fighting both here. I don’t know why we’re doing that, but whatever. It’s all good.”

“The thing is the guy wants to keep fighting. He wants all these fights back-to-back. It’s no disrespect to his opponent, he’s either gonna win or lose. That has nothing to do with us. That’s up to them. But to do that, really fight two fights in a row, you have to book them.

“For a guy like him, I would never do that for somebody else. I’d be like, ‘Relax, let’s see if you get through this fight.’ But from what I’ve seen from him, I’m willing to do that with him.”

“It’s fascinating. We’ve never really had anybody who is doing anything like he is right now. I can see why you would say, ‘Don’t you think it’s disrespectful to be booking a fight for him when he’s already got a fight?’ But that’s how you have to do it.

“It’s interesting. I like it and I’ve never had a guy like this, so it’s fun. I’ll play this game with him. After what I saw in his first two fights, he fought real guys. He didn’t fight chumps. This isn’t a guy who blew through a couple of setup fights. He beat real people. I’m gonna see how it plays out.”

h/t Mike Heck for MMA Fighting