There was a period in time where it seemed like Khamzat Chimaev may never return to the Octagon. Now he is gearing up for a comeback, and has an opponent in mind for his first fight back.
When he burst onto the UFC radar, Chimaev made a bigger impression than any other new signing in the promotion’s history. He blew through his first three opponents, in short order, across two weight classes, and without taking any damage.
This set him up for a massive opportunity, taking on number three ranked welterweight Leon Edwards. However this bout would fall through on multiple occasions, due to the Chechen catching COVID-19.
Khamzat Chimaev Wants Neil Magny In July
After his positive COVID-19 test, Khamzat Chimaev dealt with serious lingering health issues, even fearing for his life. This resulted in him contemplating retirement, simply because he was struggling to recover.
Since then, Khamzat walked back these sentiments, saying that he is going to return. Now, speaking in a recent interview, his manager, Ali Abdelaziz revealed that he is targeting a July fight against Neil Magny, saying that he is beginning to feel better.
“(Chimaev) is probably going to start training in the middle of April, and is looking to fight in the beginning of July,” Abdelaziz said. “He’s still getting medical treatment on a daily basis, but he is doing much better. Neil Magny is the guy we have in mind as an opponent, but let’s see what happens.”
Neil Magny Is Not Interested
After hearing these remarks, Neil Magny decided to respond. While he says that he would be down to fight Khamzat Chimaev in the future, he does not want to be forced onto the sidelines until July, when Khamzat is ready.
“I will fight him any day of the week. But there’s no way I’m putting my career on hold so that he could hopefully fight me come July. He needs to focus on getting healthy first. The ass whooping he’s been asking for is long over due, and is waiting on him.” Magny told Damon Martin.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) March 25, 2021
Hopefully Khamzat Chimaev can return in July, and does not have any lingering health issues. Whether it be against Neil Magny or someone else, it will be good to see this highly touted prospect back in action.