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Unbeaten Khamzat Chimaev put the UFC middleweight division on notice in Las Vegas with a brutal, 17-second, one-punch knockout of Gerald Meerschaert.
The Russian-born Swede has impressed winning all three of his UFC fights inside the distance - but this was his fastest and most devastating victory yet.
Chimaev stalked his southpaw opponent from the start, then ended the contest with the first meaningful blow. A rapid-fire right hook caught Meerschaert cold and referee Mark Smith acted swiftly to leap in as the American sank to the mat badly hurt.
The Hype Train continues! :steam_locomotive:- UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) September 20, 2020
Khamzat Chimaev only made his UFC debut in July and already has :three: wins under his belt #UFCVegas11 pic.twitter.com/aHPkUrZEj3
A new UFC record was set by the savage stoppage, as Chimaev became the quickest fighter to record three consecutive wins (in only 66 days). It also earned the 26-year-old his third straight Performance of the Night award and a new $50,000 bonus.
Chimaev was fighting on the undercard of Colby Covington's triumph over Tyron Woodley, but he once again stole the show in what's proving an incredible start to his UFC career.
Dana White and Joe Rogan were among those to instantly tweet their shock and awe at Chimaev's display of pure power.
HOOOOOOOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!!!!!!- danawhite (@danawhite) September 20, 2020
The man himself said afterwards: "I'm always angry to smash somebody, to knock him out like I did now.
"But nothing personal, it's sport. You have to talk, to make him nervous... I see he was nervous, in the cage when I looked at him, he didn't want to be there."
No, we wouldn't really want to be there either to be honest Khamzat.
On the comparisons between himself and lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov, the middleweight said: "People say, 'You're Khabib number two' - something like that. But I'm Khamzat. I can knock out people, submit people, smash people. I have everything."
White described the display as "special" and admitted post-fight that he's not sure where Chimaev will go next. The original plan seemed to be Brazilian grappling veteran Demian Maia, but White conceded: "Maia might not be ready for this kid."
Whoever is next for Chimaev, we will all be eagerly watching with fascination (and pity) to see if he can record a fourth destructive victory.
Featured image credit: BT Sport/UFC
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