During a recent interview with the “AbzTalks,” Stewart shared details of a prior training session with the fast-rising Chechen contender, in which “The Dentist” says he was actually the recipient of some unplanned dental procedures, courtesy of Chimaev.
“I know people sit there and say he hasn’t fought certain people,” Stewart said of Chimaev. “He hasn’t yet. But look here, bro, the guy took a filling out of my tooth, just by cranking my neck.
“He’s so strong, bruv. You could sit there and say, ‘It’s not about strength,’ and this. Brother, he’s so technical and so strong.”
Chimaev, of course, is one of the UFC’s breakout stars of 2020, picking up dominant wins over Gerald Meerschaert, Rhys McKee and John Phillips in a span of just a little over two months.
Stewart spent time at Allstars Gym in Sweden ahead of Chimaev’s octagon debut, so he had a preview of what was to come.
“I was grappling with him, and my ear ripped,” Stewart said. “Then he had to come put tape around my head. It was mad.”
Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is slated to face perennial welterweight contender Leon Edwards (18-3 MMA, 10-2 UFC), currently sitting at No. 9 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie welterweight rankings, in the main event of an upcoming UFC Fight Night event on Jan. 20 in Abu Dhabi.
Like Stewart, “Rocky” also lives and trains in the U.K. Their paths haven’t crossed in the gym, but Stewart said he respects Edwards and has heard nothing but good things about his abilities, including from Edwards’ brother, current Bellator contender Fabian Edwards.
“I’m not saying Leon can’t beat him,” Stewart said. “We haven’t seen him fight people like that. … It’s going to be a good one.”
Meanwhile, Stewart (12-6-1 MMA, 5-6-1 UFC) also wants to make it clear that it wasn’t all one-way traffic when he was on the mats with Chimaev.
“Not like I didn’t give him back nothing,” Stewart said. “I’m not saying he beat me up. I gave it back to him.”
That said, Stewart wants to make it very clear if you choose to write off Chimaev at this point in his career, you do so at your own risk.
“I’ve seen what he does,” Stewart said. “He’s not a guy to mess with. But in this game, yeah, MMA is MMA, and anything can happen. So I’ve heard from Fabian that Leon is a bad man, and I’ve seen that Khamzat is a bad man, so it’s going to be a good matchup.
“The unfortunate thing is (Chimaev) hasn’t fought no one, but then what do you want him to do? You can only fight who’s in front of you, so yeah, I’m looking forward to that one.”
The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.