Khamzat Chimaev is working his way back to the octagon and wants to get back in action as soon as possible.
Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) was scheduled to face Leon Edwards in a high-profile UFC bout in January and again in March, but he was forced to withdraw both times because of complications caused by COVID-19. The 26-year-old flew to Las Vegas in February to receive medical treatment, only to abruptly hint at retirement in a social media post on March 1.
Lingering complications from COVID-19 have put Chimaev’s career on hold, forcing him out of two fights with Leon Edwards in December and March. According to Chimaev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, the rising welterweight recently resumed training.
“He had a procedure,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “His first day of training was three days ago. He’s coming back with a vengeance, man. He has so much to prove. He was the guy main-eventing. Guess what? COVID rules the world right now, and COVID got him. You see Alexander (Volkanovski), the (UFC) featherweight champion. I hope he’s OK. He had some problems with it. Khamzat had some problems with it. Now he’s 100 percent healthy. He’s back training this week or last week.”
Khamzat Chimaev says he wants to fight in August
In his first interview since that post, Chimaev told ESPN that he has resumed training and would like to return to the competition in August.
“If you are sick, you cannot think about [a] fight,” Chimaev said. “I was thinking, ‘One month, sick. Then still, two months. When am I going to be finished with this s—?’ I’m healthy now, hungry again. I want to get back and smash somebody and make money.”
Chimaev, who was born in Chechnya and lives in Sweden, also revealed he recently underwent surgery in his native Chechnya to address lingering issues. His representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“When I come back to my country, they helped me and did an operation that took some stuff, I don’t know how to explain in English,” Chimaev said. “Now, I feel much better. I can’t wait. I am more than 93 kilos [205 pounds], feeling stronger. I just started to train with my team, and I will find [an opponent] to kill.”
Khamzat Chimaev says he can fight at light-heavyweight and beat Jan Blachowicz
Khamzat Chimaev is 3-0 in the UFC. He burst onto the scene in mid-2020, picking up two UFC wins in 10 days in July. He followed that with a 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert in September, before his COVID-19 diagnosis.
He says that he is not afraid to move up to 205lb and fight Jan Blachowicz. He was not impressed with the way Israel Adesanya lost to the light heavyweight champ and says that he could get the better of the Polish champ.
“I can go fight at [light heavyweight]. I have sparred with the guys who are in the top ten at [205lb]. I don’t want to say their names, but the guys know when they spar with me, what is happening there,” Chimaev said.
“I can beat Blachowicz too, Israel. Israel lost with wrestling against Blachowicz, Blachowicz is not a wrestler… Of course, I don’t have that many fights, but I know who I am, I just have to show it. Now I’m back, just give me somebody. It doesn’t matter. For me, it doesn’t matter, I’ll fight anybody. When I’m healthy I’ll fight anybody, everybody doesn’t matter. [Give me] Brock Lesnar.
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