Khamzat Chimaev has his United States visa – and he’s on the verge of getting his next opponent, too.
As UFC president Dana White alluded to at Friday’s UFC on ESPN+ 34 post-weigh-in news conference, the promotion is eying a fight for Chimaev (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) for Sept. 19. While White did not reveal an opponent, MMA Junkie has learned Chimaev vs. Gerald Meerschaert at 185 pounds is being worked on for that fight card in Las Vegas.
Two people with knowledge of the situation recently confirmed the targeted booking to MMA Junkie after an initial report from Combate. The people asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
On Friday, White hinted Chimaev will potentially face former UFC welterweight and middleweight title challenger Demian Maia on “Fight Island,” should he win his Sept.19 fight.
Shortly after news broke online Friday of the targeted fight, Meerschaert (31-13 MMA, 6-5 UFC) took to Twitter to voice his confidence in the matchup – and in doing so, took a jab at Chimaev already having a potential fight beyond him.
He’s not leaving the cage physically able to fight in October. https://t.co/S3uAjlAVmi
— Gerald Meerschaert (@The_Real_GM3) September 4, 2020
Chimaev, 26, made his promotional debut July 15 at UFC on ESPN 13, defeating John Phillips in dominant fashion. Ten days later, Chimaev picked up his second promotional victory, finishing Rhys McKee in the first round at UFC on ESPN 14. Chimaev became the first fighter in the modern UFC era to win two fights in 10 days.
Meerschaert has alternated wins and losses over his most recent four fights. After submitting Trevin Giles in August 2019, Meerschaert returned two months later to lose a split decision against Eryk Anders. Thus far in 2020, Meerschaert has defeated Deron Winn by submission and lost to Ian Heinisch by TKO.
The lineup for UFC’s Sept. 19 card now includes:
- Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley
- Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price
- Ryan Spann vs. Johnny Walker
- Mackenzie Dern vs. Randa Markos
- Kevin Holland vs. Darren Stewart
- Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gerald Meerschaert
- Mara Romero Borella vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
- David Dvorak vs. Jordan Espinosa
- Randy Costa vs. Journey Newson
- Andre Ewell vs. Irwin Rivera
- Sarah Alpar vs. Jessica-Rose Clark
- TJ Laramie vs. Darrick Minner
- Miguel Baeza vs. Mickey Gall
- Mirsad Bektic vs. Eduardo Garagorri