Daniel Cormier worried Khamzat Chimaev won’t meet UFC star potential: ‘It’ll be very difficult’

Daniel Cormier thinks Khamzat Chimaev’s red-hot start to his UFC career set the bar too high.

Chimaev burst onto the UFC scene by winning two fights in the span of 10 days during on “Fight Island” in 2020. However, while “Borz” did live up to the hype by remaining unbeaten through seven octagon fights, his activity has significantly dipped over the past several years.

Chimaev hasn’t competed since a majority decision win over Kamaru Usman this past October at UFC 294 – his only fight in almost two years. He was scheduled to headline Saturday’s UFC on ABC 6 event vs. Robert Whittaker, but an illness forced him out.

Cormier questions if Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) has lost momentum after defeating former UFC champ Usman.

“I always wonder if a guy can ride too hot when they first start,” Cormier said on “Good Guy/Bad Guy” with Chael Sonnen. “Can you fly too close to the sun? Because when Khamzat Chimaev started right, he was on Fight Island, he fought twice in one week, looked amazing, went to the Apex, knocked out Gerald Meerschaert. He was so hot that everybody just thought he was going to be the greatest fighter, he can finish anyone, he was doing his thing at a level that I don’t know is even sustainable. And then he goes in there with Kamaru Usman, who is a former champion.

“And for him to win at this stage in his career is a massive accomplishment, even though Usman took the fight on short notice. But, it felt like because of the decision, after what he did to Li Jingliang, how he picked him up and slammed him and was talking to Dana the whole time, it seemed like in that victory, he lost a little bit of the lore that he had built around himself. So then it leads me to this, did he fly too hot, was he too close to the sun, and now, it’ll be very difficult for him to reach the level of superstardom that we all expected from Khamzat Chimaev.”

Despite rumors about Chimaev pondering retirement, his manager confirmed to MMA Junkie that he has every intention to continue fighting. However, UFC CEO Dana White could not offer a timeline on Chimaev’s next fight and admitted the constant setbacks are “tough to deal with.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 6.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie