Khamzat Chimaev


Next fight targeted
July 9, 2021
Chimaev is being targeted for a welterweight matchup against Li Jingliang at UFC 267 on October 30, Raphael Marinho of reports.
Chimaev took the UFC by storm with three convincing stoppages in a span of just over three months in 2020. He then came down with a serious case of COVID-19 that put the welterweight on the sidelines ever since. He had been scheduled for matchups against the likes of Demian Maia and Leon Edwards that ultimately fell through, and was even rumored to be an option for the return of Nick Diaz at one point. Instead, he'll draw a veteran in Jingliang who has earned a post-fight bonus in six of his last eight trips to the Octagon. While "The Leech" is known as a finisher, he defends takedowns at a below-average rate of 59 percent, which could be a major issue against Chimaev's wrestling-based attack. Chimaev will also have a four-inch reach advantage that he could use to keep his opponent's strikes at bay.
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Declared healthy
April 15, 2021
Chimaev's (illness) manager, Ali Abdelaziz said Tuesday in an interview with John Morgan of MMA Junkie that his client is "100 percent healthy" and "coming back with a vengeance."
After contracting COVID-19 in December, Chimaev was forced to withdraw from a January fight with Leon Edwards before rescheduling the matchup for March. Citing lingering physical complications in his recovery from the virus, Chimaev withdrew from the fight again, and he suggested soon afterward that he planned to retire from competitive fighting. After rethinking his future in the sport and making positive progress in his recovery over the past month, Chimaev apparently remains focused on resuming his fighting career. UFC president Dana White recently suggested that Chimaev could return to competition at some point during the summer.
Retirement reports disputed
March 3, 2021
UFC President Dana White believes Chimaev has not retired and in fact intends to return to competition in June, John Morgan of USA Today reports.
Chimaev has been dealing with serious complications of COVID-19 since testing positive in early-2020, which forced his withdrawal from a scheduled matchup against Leon Edwards on March 13. Edwards has since been rebooked to face Belal Muhammad on that card, suggesting Chrimaev is still a while from returning. White suggested that Chimaev isn't supposed to be training at this time, but after a difficult session, Chimaev had an emotional reaction that led to a personal Instagram post that implied his retirement. The undefeated fighter is a perfect 3-0 in the UFC with three Performance of the Night bonuses, so the announcement sent shockwaves through the MMA community Monday. It seems the announcement may have been a bit premature, but only time will tell.
Announces retirement
March 1, 2021
Chimaev (illness) announced his retirement from UFC on Monday, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
Chimaev recently withdrew from his scheduled fight against Leon Edwards due to effects caused by COVID-19, and he's since announced that he's ready to step away from the sport. It's not completely clear as to what caused this sudden decision, but Chimaev did have to reschedule the Edwards fight twice as a result of lingering COVID-19 issues, so it's certainly possible that the virus played a key role in his choice to hang it up.
Scratched from March 13 card
February 11, 2021
Chimaev has withdrawn from his fight scheduled for March 13 versus Leon Edwards due to lingering physical effects caused by COVID-19, Brett Okamoto of reports.
Chimaev's fight versus Edwards was initially scheduled for early December and was moved back twice already due to COVID-19 issues. Unfortunately, he still hasn't recovered completely from it and will be forced off another card as a result. This time around, Edwards is expected to book another opponent, so Chimaev will likely face a different foe when he's ready to go.
Edwards fight rebooked for March
January 15, 2021
Chimaev (illness) is scheduled to face Leon Edwards in a welterweight fight at the UFC's March 13 event, Damon Martin and Guilherme Cruz of report.
Chimaev (9-0-0) and Edwards (18-3-0) were initially slated to meet up Dec. 19 in Las Vegas, but the fight was nixed after Edwards tested positive for COVID-19. The UFC moved the matchup to Jan. 20, but Chimaev then contracted the coronavirus, resulting in the fight being called off again. With both welterweights having seemingly made strong recoveries from their respective battles with the virus, the long-awaited bout should finally be held in March. A victor in all three of his fights since signing with the UFC in July 2019, Chimaev should have a good chance to make a big climb up the welterweight rankings if he can claim another win over Edwards.