Khamzat Chimaev ‘Practically Lived in the Gym’ Says Ilir Latifi

Published 05/31/2021, 11:27 AM EDT
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)


Since his outstanding UFC debut, many have touted Khamzat Chimaev as one of the brightest in MMA. The Swedish fighter has an amazing professional record of 9-0 and has won all his fights via stoppage. Chimaev last competed at UFC Vegas 11 against Gerald Meerschaert and won via KO in the first round.

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Recently fellow Swedish fighter and heavyweight competitor Ilir Latifi talked about Chimaev. ‘The Sledgehammer’ and Chimaev train at the same center and Latifi shared his views on ‘Borz.’

“We just saw this amazing talent from the beginning like this guy’s talent from the beginning. And it’s really really amazing seeing this kid that practically lived in the gym for a couple of years and like sacrificed everything, worked so hard and now he’s there where he is.”

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Chimaev won 2 fights in the span of 20 days in July 2020 and gained superstardom instantly. Sadly, like the rest of the world, COVID hit and affected Chimaev greatly. Chimaev tested positive for COVID-19 and it got so serious that Chimaev had even announced retirement at one point.

“Sadly had this complication with Covid and had to like, we everybody were trying to like you gotta rest you know don’t train because he’s so used to training 3,4 times a day or you know every day, he was so frustrated because he couldn’t train hard.

“And I think he had time to land with all this stardom around him, you know. Because I don’t think there’s ever been so much talk about a fighter 1, 2, or 3 fights.” 

Ilir Latifi believes Khamzat Chimaev is a future champion

After watching Chimaev perform, almost everyone believed the fighter could well be the next big thing in the UFC. Many people believed that ‘Borz’ would become a UFC champion soon, and Latifi was one of them.

However, Latifi also talks about how he knew that Chimaev had all the qualities of becoming a champion even before his UFC debut.

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“I believe so for sure and the funny thing is like even before he was in the UFC, I was like talking with some people, with the manager and staff.

“I said this guy has a bright future, this guy before he was in the UFC, I say he can beat the champs in the UFC. Because his level is, he’s just an extreme talent, but it’s not just talent, he’s also very hardworking.

“He has all the components to become the champ. Hopefully, we’ll see even more of him soon.”

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Like many others, Latifi clearly holds Chimaev in high regard and thinks of him as an exceptional talent. Therefore, while it is unsure when Chimaev will return to action. We as fans are eagerly waiting to see this brilliant fighter back in action.

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Paras Pande

255 articles

Paras Pande is a UFC author at EssentiallySports who is pursuing his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication. An ardent follower of the UFC, he has been covering the sport for 2 years now. Before joining the team at EssentiallySports, Paras gained expertise as an MMA writer whilst working with Sportskeeda.

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