Alexander Gustafsson believes Khamzat Chimaev is a special talent.
A longtime training partner of Chimaev’s at Sweden’s Allstars Training Center, former three-time UFC title challenger Gustafsson has lofty expectations for the promotion’s popular rising star.
Although Chimaev (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) is only four fights into his UFC career, Gustafsson has the utmost confidence that his teammate could take out welterweight champion and the promotion’s pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter Kamaru Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC).
Chimaev showed off his knockout power in his 17-second finish of Gerald Meerschaert in September 2020 and his thunderous uppercut knockout of sambo champion Ikram Aliskerov before he became a part of the UFC roster.
“I think he’d put Kamaru Usman to sleep, honestly,” Gustafsson told ESPN. “I think if he just touches his chin, it’s a big chance that Kamaru Usman goes to sleep. I like Kamaru Usman. He’s a great champ, and he’s just been breaking records, and it’s a pleasure to see him fight because he’s a very good, technical – I love his jab and his wrestling, and you can see that he’s on top, Kamaru Usman. But I just can’t see him take Khamzat’s punches.”
Chimaev has been hit just once in his four dominant UFC wins thus far. The 27-year-old proved how eager he is to compete when he picked up a record-breaking two octagon wins in the span of 10 days on “Fight Island,” and Gustafsson says Chimaev is as game as advertised.
“I met a lot of MMA athletes and fighters and all that, and he stands out for sure because of his dedication,” Gustafsson said. “Because of how he out-trains everybody. There’s nobody that trains like him. Nobody. I haven’t seen it. I have been around the world seeing fighters train and having their camps and training for a fight. This guy just doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t feel any pain, just goes through it.”