A weeklong verbal altercation between middleweights Khamzat Chimaev and Gerald Meerschaert got a bit spicier during the UFC Vegas 11 press conference, with Meerschaert betting a martial arts rank after taking more verbal blows from Shimaev.
“If you choke me, I’ll find a black belt and give it to you – how about that?” Meerschart said.
The UFC middleweight veteran swept a threat from Chimaev down the hallway at the host hotel earlier this week, but was forced to speak to him directly on UFC Vegas 11 media day on Wednesday at Las Vegas. Chimaev was on the offensive from the start, teasing Meerschaert about his previous losses and black belt status.
“You are losing your fights,” Shimaev interjected in Meerschaert’s first question. “You are like Conor’s friend. What’s her name? Artem Lobov. How often do you lose your fights? “
“Oh, I lost a lot of fights,” Meerschaert said. “I am 31-13 years old.”
“Do you think you are a black belt?” Shimaev said. “Jack Hermansson, he doesn’t have a black belt. Why did he suffocate you?
“Sometimes you lose when you fight tough guys, man,” Meerschaert said.
“I have a blue belt,” Chimaev said. “I’ll suffocate you. … You are about to give me your black belt.
Chimaev, who burst onto the scene earlier this year with back-to-back wins in 10 days on Fight Island, said his knowledge of Meerschaert was limited to a previous loss to Ian Heinisch even though he recorded another setback. against Hermansson.
Obviously, the newcomer was having fun with his first lead role in a UFC press conference and lashing out at his opponent at every turn.
“Someone, how is a white belt choking you?” How are you going to be a black belt? For me, that is not possible, because I worked hard to get the blue belt for three years, ”Chimaev said. “How did he get that?” Imagine how many years it will take me to achieve this.
Chimaev repeated the verbal threat he initiated with Meerschaert at the host hotel, triggering another back-and-forth that co-headliner Donald Cerrone stepped in to ease the tension.
Chimaev smiled and laughed at Cerrone, whom he also said he could crush while expressing respect for the veteran. Meerschaert isn’t the opponent he wanted to fight, he said, but he would do his job and move on to the next challenge. He’s already in pencil to take on welterweight Demian Maia in his next fight.
Meerschaert is tied at five with Antonio Carlos Junior and Maia for most submissions in the middleweight division. Chimaev, however, is not impressed.
“Train harder, don’t talk,” he says. “’I’m jiu-jitsu, I’m doing better.’ What the hell is this? “
“I’m tied for most submissions in the middleweight division,” Meerschaert replied. “So yeah, I think I deserve this black belt. “
About that strap on the line, Meerschaert can have it.
“If I choke you, you are done with this sport,” Chimaev said.
And Meerschaert promises to humiliate the young upstart.
“If I overtake you, do I get a wrestling trophy or something?” he joked.