To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders
Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications
| Last updated
UFC champ Israel Adesanya has fired back at fellow middleweight Khamzat Chimaev, saying he's never seen the rising contender fight and calling him "rat lip".
Chimaev has drawn excited praise from Dana White who called him "special" after his explosive start in UFC, winning three fights in destructive style to take his overall record to 9-0. But Adesanya was definitely unimpressed by Chimaev's comments after his 17-second KO of Gerald Meerschaert on Saturday.
"I don't even know the guy, I haven't seen his fights yet," The Last Stylebender told Kevin Iole of 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 [Simpson, Adesanya's manager] said he fought low level competition," the 185lb champion 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."
Russian-born Swede Chimaev was asked about fighting either the middleweight champ or welterweight king Kamaru Usman and his response was emphatic.
"If I do my hard work, nobody's a challenge for me," said Chimaev. "I'm going to stop both guys."
Fighting talk so naturally Adesanya responded, though even in terms of trash talk some might think "rat lip" is an insult too far. The 26-year-old Chimaev has a notable scar on his top lip, although it is reportedly from an injury rather than a repaired cleft lip.
Despite White saying he's "never seen anything like" Chimaev, it could be a while until we see 'Borz' in the Octagon with Adesanya. He still has to face an elite UFC middleweight and climb the rankings to prove his worth.
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old champion has a tough fight against unbeaten Brazilian Paulo Costa at UFC 253 this Saturday.
But if both men can keep on winning, an Adesanya vs Chimaev showdown could be a mouthwatering prospect for the future. No harm in casting that net our early, after all.
All imagery: PA Images/Twitter @KChimaev
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read