‘He’s Coming Back With a Vengeance’- Khamzat Chimaev’s Manager Gives An Update On His Return

Published 04/13/2021, 8:27 AM EDT


Rising welterweight division fighter Khamzat Chimaev is working his way back to the ring, according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz. Chimaev’s career in the octagon is at a halt because of persisting COVID-19 complications.

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The undefeated Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is expecting a summer return, after he resumed his training recently. His health is continuously improving after he had a horrid time where he was continuously visiting the hospital because of COVID-19.

Talking about the same with MMA Junkie, Abdelaziz said, “He had a procedure. Actually, 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.”

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Ali mentioned the case of reigning UFC featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski. He believes the champ is ok and draws his health condition parallel to that of Chimaev’s. The manager says now Chimaev is 100% fit and is rearing to get back into the ring.

Abdelaziz gave a tentative date for Chimaev’s return. He said, “We’ll see him at the end of July (or) August. Even Dana (White) was asking me the other day. I told him the end of July or August he’ll fight”.

The manager believes sickness can’t control a superstar like Khamzat. According to him, Khamzat would make a big statement on his return and will only climb above after his return.

What was Khamzat Chimaev doing before COVID-19 put a roadblock?

Prior to his halt, Chimaev made his debut for UFC on July 16,  2020, at UFC on ESPN 13. He replaced Dusko Todorovic to take on John Phillips in a middleweight bout. He won that fight with a submission lock, which also earned him the performance of the night award.

Just 10 days after his victory over Phillip, he faced a promotional newcomer, Rhys McKee, in a welterweight fight on July 25, 2020, at UFC on ESPN 14. He won this fight via TKO in the first round itself. After the fight, he said, “soon, I’m going to be p4p No.1.”

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On September 6, 2020, Chimaev faced Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Fight Night 178. He won that fight via knockout just 17 seconds into the first round. All three wins of his UFC career earned him the performance of the night bonus.

He had a scheduled fight against Leon Edwards in December and then again in March, only to be canceled later both times due to him being tested out COVID-19 positive.

Khamzat is an exceptional MMA fighter. His records speak about his caliber, and if not for Covid, he would have probably won against some high-profile names by now. It’s good for UFC and fans alike that a talent like Chimaev is ready to enter the octagon again. Who do you want him to face when he returns?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

110 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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