*SPECIAL MARKET REPORT* To: Khamzat Chimaev, From: CME Consulting Services LLC, Re: You suddenly being so Aggressively Online

Greetings Mr. Chimaev! Thanks for commissioning CME Consulting Services to take a look at your recent online activities and provide some analysis on your engagement, how you might shape your message and best interact with your online community in the future. We’ve received your $40 via Venmo and, while we don’t totally understand your attached memo inviting us to “call the cops” accompanied by a skull emoji, we’re pleased to have completed this special market report for you.

Apologies in advance for the long email, but we do have some thoughts.

First of all, wow! 2.9 million followers on Instagram and 216K more on Twitter! Not too shabby for a guy who has only been in the UFC for 15 months, especially considering as recently as March you were posting pictures of blood-spattered sinks accompanied by grave pronouncements that you might never fight again. We’re glad you appear to have fully recovered now from your serious bout with COVID-19—as we think Li Jingliang can attest! Haha!—and have gotten back to your bread and butter: Whipping that ass and making fun of Colby Covington.

Let us say we love a LOT of what you’re doing right now, sir. Most of your social media interactions are probably best described as “classic MMA-fighter-on-Twitter stuff” and it seems like it’s really working out well for you. In fact, you’ve been on a roll lately, calling out Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Leon Edwards, beefing with The Brothers Paul, posting pictures of yourself posing with small school children and/or giant firearms as well as the aforementioned non-stop mockery of Mr. Covington. Frankly, we wouldn’t change a thing about any of that.

But your message has taken an unexpected turn during the last week or so, hasn’t it, Mr. Chimaev?

In fact, our in-depth research indicates that for five-plus months between mid-May and late October, you didn’t post a single tweet. “Not one tweet!” as a certain neighbor to our north likes to say.

Then, on Oct. 31, just one day after that three-minute, 16 second submission victory over Mr. Jingliang at UFC 267, you seemed to remember the password to your Twitter account. Since then, you’ve been posting a lot—and, again, your insistence on continually publishing embarrassing photos of Mr. Covington is GREAT. More of that relatable content, please!

So, that’s the good news. The bad new is, we regret to say that some of your current online activities are missing the mark. Case-in-point: This week’s back-to-back-to-back offers to fight Georges St-Pierre, Daniel Cormier and Brock Lesnar. We’re not totally sure what those messages are accomplishing for you, sir. They’ve taken on a bit of a sawed-off shotgun vibe, to be honest. It’s as if you’ve resorted to blasting whatever well-known MMA figures happen to be running through your mind at that exact moment, regardless of weight class, career status or contractual obligation.

Our opinions on active fighters continuing to call-out Mr. St-Pierre are already well-documented. We feel strongly that it’s time for MMA to let him go. St-Pierre seems to have found true happiness amid his retirement: growing his hair, appearing in whatever sidecar Marvel projects he can get himself cast in and unveiling halfway creepy-looking statues of himself. Giving the impression you want to drag him back into this mess is, frankly, unseemly and unbecoming of your current status as a top contender, sir. Our advice would be to cease and desist those invitations immediately.

Cormier, though? Bless his heart. Calling him out for a grappling match was actually pretty savvy of you. Clearly, you understood that the singular combination of America wrestler/American dad that makes up the very fiber of Mr. Cormier’s being wouldn’t allow him to take any kind of challenge lightly. Sure, he tried to laugh it off, but his reply to you was essentially (we’re paraphrasing here): “Haha you’re crazy for this one Khamzat! But I WOULD DEFINITELY BEAT YOU IN A VERY LOPSIDED AND SERIOUS MANNER.”

It seems like you got to him, sir. You forced DC to pretend to be cool with your message while also signalling that he was maybe secretly offended by it. That, for the moment, is a victory. You and Mr. Cormier are obviously well separated by size and weight, but it doesn’t seem completely outlandish that with some added needling you might convince him to face you in a grappling match in some poorly-lit cage somewhere in Europe. Kudos to you for opening lines of communication on that.

Would you win that match-up? Well, haha, technical fight analysis isn’t the focus of this report, now is it? We are aware that you recently wore Jack Hermansson around the cage like hat in a similar match a couple weeks ago, but Cormier would be a much, um, bigger challenge. If and when such a bout might become a reality, we strongly encourage you to once again retain the CME Consulting Service, at which time we could give some serious thought to whether you should actually go through with it.

Finally, this Lesnar thing. We feel compelled to weigh-in here, despite the fact Mr. Lesnar almost certainly will not. Calling out Brock Lesnar? That’s some 2012 stuff, Mr. Chimaev. We thought a man of your obvious instinct for the fight game would have realized how that would look: Borderline desperate. Or, at best, like you are doing what we here at CME, LLC like to call: Just Sayin’ Stuff. That fight’s never going to happen and, if we had to guess, we might hazard an opinion that Mr. Lesnar probably doesn’t even know who you are, sir.

No shame in that. Mr. Lesnar likely barely knows the names of the people he sees every day over in his current stomping grounds of WWE. But, brass tacks: He’s never going to reply to you and so any call-out of him is wasted effort. These days, if you want to make a senseless, hopeless challenge for a fight you’re never going to get, might we suggest firing off a tweet at Tyson Fury or Canelo Alvarez? Those are the people fighters take needless potshots at these days. Just something you may want to incorporate into your content strategy for the future.

The larger point here, sir, is that it suddenly seems that you have become Aggressively Online. Nothing wrong with that, though it’s a bit of a tricky line to walk. Last thing we’d want for you is to become a Conor McGregor or Jon Jones-type figure, constantly tweeting-and-deleting some mean-spirited quip that seems designed merely to steal our focus away from whoever happens to be getting any limited media exposure on that given night.

Less is more, you might say, when it comes to your social media engagement. Lately, however, it seems like you’ve been coming down on the more is more side. It gives the impression that perhaps you’ve just now found your phone where it had fallen—months ago now—into that crack between the driver’s seat and the center console.

Is it possible, Mr. Chimaev, that you are just bored? In the one month since your victory over Mr. Jingliang, have you grown so listless that you’ve resorted to shitposting online? If so, we get it. There’s no shortage of people in this space who do that every day. If you are the sort of person who doesn’t deal well with downtime—we might suggest the mere fact you recently had that match with Mr. Hermansson is evidence of that—we understand if you’re having trouble filling the days right now.

Maybe the answer is that we find your something else to do. Another fight, perhaps? Sooner than most might have expected? There is obviously a lot of people who want to fight you at this point and you seem, dare we say, game as hell. So, our advice would be to look into that ASAP.

Until then, here are some helpful dos and don’ts for navigating the sometimes tricky online world: DO continue to call out any active welterweight you might actually conceivably fight. DO continue to position yourself as the next great UFC badass and the potential heir to Khabib Nurmagomedov. DO continue to seek out challenges like grappling Mr. Hermansson, so long as those challenges seem likely to continue building your mystique and not to undermine it.

DO, by all means, continue to post any and all content embarrassing to Colby Covington. 100 percent yes on that.

But DON’T muddle your message and waste time calling out people who are never going to fight you. This includes retired icons, current professional wrestlers and people so outlandishly outside your natural weight that athletic contests with them appear untenable.

These seem like fairly straightforward suggestions and we do hope you can see your way to following them, Mr. Chimaev. The last thing we want is to wake up one morning and find you’ve published a video of yourself silently pacing back and forth in front of a television with a picture of Max Holloway on it.

Thanks again for your business. We look forward to a long and profitable partnership. Feel free to reach out any time.


Ben and Chad, CME Consulting Services LLC

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