Fans have been asking for it and now they are getting the return of Khamzat Chimaev. It appears that he will be facing “The Leech” himself, Li Jingliang, at UFC 267, slated for October 30th.
One of the most polarizing prospects that the UFC has had in recent memory, Chimaev has not fought since September of 2020. Since then he has dealt with a litany of health issues that have kept him sidelined, and even considering retirement.
Nevertheless, reports have emerged that revealed that the UFC is looking to book the Chechen fighter against Ji Jingliang, for UFC 267. With this card set for October, that means it will have been more than a year since Khamzat’s last fight.
“The return of Khamzat Chimaev (targeted) for UFC 267 against Li Jingliang. We found out that both sides accepted the fight, all that’s left is the signing of contracts,” the report from Rapahel Marinho stated (translated via Google).
Ultimate acertou o retorno de Khamzat Chimaev para o UFC 267 contra Li Jingliang. Apuramos que os dois lados aceitaram a luta, falta só a assinatura dos contratos. #feedmma
— Raphael Marinho (@raphamarinho) July 9, 2021
The Road To Recovery For Khamzat Chimaev
When Li Jingliang faces Khamzat Chimaev, it will be his second fight of the year, after his fantastic knockout over Santiago Ponzinibbio in January. However the same can not be said for the undefeated Chechen.
After bursting on the scene with three massive finishes, in the same amount of months, across two weight divisions, Khamzat was slated to face Leon Edwards. However a severe COVID-19 diagnosis from Khamzat, which led to him dealing with a ton of lingering health issues, have derailed those plans completely.
Frankly, Khamzat Chimaev vs Leon Edwards was never really the appropriate fight to make, given the fact that at the time, Leon was ranked third in the world. This fight against number 12 ranked Li Jingliang seems like a more fitting jump up in the rankings, and will still almost certainly be a wild fight to watch.