Here’s What You Need to Know About the Khamzat Chimaev-Khabib Nurmagomedov Beef

Published 05/24/2021, 11:44 AM EDT


Ramzan Kadyrov, the infamous Chechen strongman, has always been a central figure in the world of Russian Mixed Martial Arts. His affinity to the world of MMA, especially Russian prospects, is renowned.

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The UFC has come under criticism in the past for having apparent connections with Kadyrov. Given his affinity with the sport, the leader has been associated with prominent Russian world beaters in the past. The most recent of such Russian cage fighting superstars: Khamzat Chimaev.

Khamzat Chimaev’s relationship with the Kadyrov

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The influence of the Chechen supremo in the life and career of up-and-coming UFC prospect Khamzat Chimaev is apparent. Kadyrov began taking a shine to Chimaev after his first showing in the UFC, which was a dominant finish of John Phillips. The Chechen native turned Swedish citizen was hailed as a “true Chechen” by Kadyrov after his stellar performance.

 

Chimaev, who had caught a severe case of the COVID-19 virus, was mulling retirement from the sport. He announced his retirement on Twitter, to the shock and surprise of many.

It was Kadyrov’s influence over the life of the Chechen fighter that convinced him to come back to action. Khamzat Chimaev is targeting a return to the octagon by August.

 

Chimaev’s challenge to Nurmagomedov on Kadyrov’s IG live

As the relationship between the leader and the fighter grew, another fighter relation of Kadyrov took the back seat. Khabib Nurmagomedov had come under the spotlight earlier for his link to the Chechen leader.

The relationship between the Chechen leader and Nurmagomedov has been pleasant over the years. The former UFC pound-for-pound best has hosted training seminars at Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA fight club.

He has also been gifted several luxury cars by the Chechen strongman. Kadyrov made Nurmagomedov an honorary citizen of Chechnya. Kadyrov also stood in solidarity with Khabib at UFC 242, when he fought Dustin Poirier at Abu Dhabi.

Things are not as smooth as they once were between the fighter and the politician.

Recently, in an Instagram live hosted by Kadyrov, a challenge was issued to the Dagestani fighter. Kadyrov invited him to have a contest between any of the fighters’ training with him at his gym, Akhmat.

“I know Khabib is a UFC project and I can talk about it extensively. Of course, in this organization, he would tear everyone apart, but the question was, would he tear everyone to Akhmat?

“I’m willing to pay any money to Khabib to come out in the ACA and see if he tears anyone down here. I’m willing to pay him more than in the UFC if he plays in the ACA against our fighter. Let’s see who wins,” the leader said.

Khamzat Chimaev dropped in on the IG live and said that he will smash Khabib if he wants it.

 

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“We’ll Tear Him Apart if He Wants”- Khamzat Chimaev Sends a Chilling Message to Khabib Nurmagomedov

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The Nurmagomedov clan responds to Khamzat Chimaev

The Nurmagomedov clan did not take too kindly to the comment. Abubakar Nurmagomedov, a cousin of ‘The Eagle’, addressed Chimaev in a tweet. Nurmagomedov questioned Chimaev’s loyalty and warned him to be mindful of what he says.

Needless to say, Chimaev didn’t take the accusations lying down and fired back on Twitter. He mocked Khabib and his team for cornering fellow Chechen fighter Artem Lobov back in 2018 and issued a fresh challenge to the now-retired Dagestani fighter.

 

“I have a one-on-one motto, not a crowd on one, if you had something to say, you should have contacted me, not to contact me in public.

“We will see you there in America, boy! When your brother shouted to the world that he will smash anybody with confidence, so, I can’t be confident?,” Chimaev said in his response.

With both the parties being cordial with one another at a point in time, things going sour so quickly is something that puzzles the MMA world.

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Khabib has acknowledged the stylistic similarities between himself and Chimaev and has held the 27-year-old in high regard. In an interview with RT sports in October 2020, Nurmagomedov said that he believes Chimaev has a long road ahead of him.

He also expressed that Chimaev is the real deal in his opinion. The Dagestani, however, cautioned Chimaev to focus on training, take care of business, and leave.

 However, the Chechen has always maintained that he is his own fighter, not anything like Khabib. With the relationship deteriorating significantly between the two Russian fighters, the world now awaits Khabib Nurmagomedov’s response to the callout.

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Akshit Pushkarna

62 articles

Akshit Pushkarna, who has a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication, is an MMA writer for EssentiallySports. Before his current role, Akshit worked on the Urban Development beat at the Urban Update magazine. However, combat sports always called out to Akshit, who pursued both boxing and wrestling at a regional level before shifting his focus to MMA journalism.

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