Jack Hermansson and Khamzat Chimaev engaged in a memorable wrestling showdown a few years ago. Hermansson, an established UFC middleweight contender at the time, faced Chimaev, who had competed in both the UFC welterweight and middleweight divisions.
Despite Chimaev’s victory over UFC welterweight staple Li Jingliang, he hadn’t yet defeated top-tier contenders in the middleweight division in 2021.
Speculation arose about Hermansson possibly having a natural weight advantage over Chimaev, given the latter’s transition between welterweight and middleweight. Hailing from Chechnya, Russia, Chimaev began his wrestling journey in childhood, refining his skills after relocating to Sweden.
Notably, Chimaev clinched gold medals at the Swedish Freestyle National Championships in 2016 and 2017, competing in the 86-kilogram category, and another in 2018 in the 92-kilogram category.
Meanwhile, Hermansson’s grappling prowess is commendable. Starting Greco-Roman wrestling at age nine, the Swedish-Norwegian athlete has earned acclaim for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu arsenal and relentless wrestling as a professional MMA fighter.
Their freestyle wrestling bout at Bulldog Fight Night 9 in Sweden saw Chimaev deliver a dominant performance, securing victory over Hermansson via decision/points with a score of 8–0.
One notable aspect of Chimaev’s performance was his ability to match up against a full-time middleweight like Hermansson without appearing undersized. Additionally, observers praised Chimaev’s superior cardio and expert wrestling technique against a high-level grappler like Hermansson.