‘Sickness Can’t Control That’- Ali Abdelaziz Says Khamzat Chimaev Will Be Returning This Summer

Published 04/13/2021, 11:15 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: (R-L) Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya punches Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


Khamzat Chimaev is one of the most exciting new fighters that the UFC has on their roster. His first three fights in the promotion were headline-snatchers. He got a bout against the #3 ranked Leon Edwards on hype alone. However, he hasn’t made the walk down to the cage after his third fight last October.

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Despite being booked to face Edwards, Chimaev has been struggling to recover from COVID. He even announced his retirement a few months ago, but it was quickly shot down by Dana White and the Chechen leader. But his manager Ali Abdelaziz has an update on when we should expect Chimaev to return.

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“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. I told Sean (Shelby), too. Realistically, I think it’s time to slow it down a little bit, but I think he’s going to make a (bigger) statement on the comeback. He’s going to keep climbing.

“He’s a special talent, he’s a superstar, I believe, in the making. All of us will see. Everyone who understands MMA will understand what Khamzat brings. It is what it is, and we have to move on. Sickness can’t control that.” (h/t MMAJunkie)

Khamzat Chimaev: How will his return play out?

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Khamzat Chimaev will not be in the same position on the card that he was after his win last October. A fight against Leon Edwards looks to be off the table, as Edwards is now booked to face Nate Diaz. However, there are many Welterweights in the rankings that can take this fight.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 24: Khamzat Chimaev of Czechia poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 24, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Chimaev won’t get someone ranked in the top five unless Colby Covington decides to take that step down. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have options. There are fighters like Neil Magny, Michael Chiesa, Geoff Neal, etc. who would be willing to take a high-profile fight like this. Chimaev could even move back up to Middleweight.

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The UFC and Chimaev’s management will have to be careful with Chimaev’s return. While he wants to fight top contenders, he may just end up taking a set-up fight for his return to see if he is back at full strength. But the return is coming sooner than expected.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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