Khamzat Chimaev Reveals Shocking Reason For Temorary Retirement In 2021: ‘I Didn’t Know What To Say To My Family’

UFC middleweight contender Khamzat Chimaev says a scary misdiagnosis from a doctor almost ended his fighting career.

Khamzat Chimaev
Khamzat Chimaev (Left and Right)(Images via Instagram @Khamzat_Chimaev)

Khamzat Chimaev revealed the shocking reason why he temporarily retired in 2021. 

Chimaev made his UFC debut in July 2020 with a professional MMA record of 6-0. He quickly became a fan favorite by submitting John Phillips and then secured a first-round TKO against Rhys McKee in a ten-day span. 

‘Borz’ followed up his two impressive wins with a 17-second knockout against Gerald Meerschaert to solidify himself as a superstar. Nobody could have predicted what would happen next. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chimaev shared a photo of his blood in a sink with a warning that he contracted a disease.

As a result, ‘Borz’ was rumored to be declining in health, leading to him temporarily announcing his retirement. Chimaev ended up overcoming the illness and returned to fighting.

Over two years later, ‘Borz’ recently revealed that his short retirement was caused by a doctor misdiagnosing him with cancer. He explained during an interview on the Full Send Podcast

“That time was hard. It’s not the same when I’m healthy. That time when I said [that I was retiring] the doctor said, ‘you have cancer.’ That’s why I said I was retired. I didn’t know what to say to my family. I didn’t know what to say to the people.”

Khamzat Chimaev continued by explaining that he got a second opinion, which proved he had COVID-19 instead of cancer: 

“Then we check again, the other doctor said, ‘No, you don’t have cancer.’ You still coughing blood, and you think you finished. If doctor said something to you, it’s still in your head. You still go home and coughing up blood…They bring in the doctor, and he said, ‘No, it’s not cancer. It’s [COVID].”

Khamzat Chimaev vows to continue fighting until he dies

Khamzat Chimaev nearly had his life turned upside down due to an early retirement. Yet, the 29-year-old overcame COVID-19 to continue doing what he loves.

During the previously mentioned interview on the Full Send Podcast, ‘Borz’ had this to say about recovering from the illness:

“It was hard. That’s why I said that [I was retiring]. Then went home back to Russia, bring in a lot of doctors, and they helped me a lot there. After three weeks being good then I come back. Like I said in the cage, if I’m still here, until I die, I’m gonna be in the cage.”

Since overcoming COVID-19, Khamzat Chimaev has secured three more wins against Li Jingliang, Gilbert Burns, and Kevin Holland. 

On Saturday, October 21, Chimaev will fight in the UFC 294 co-main event against Kamaru Usman, who stepped on short notice to replace for the injured Paulo Costa. With a win against the former UFC welterweight champion, ‘Borz’ would secure the next middleweight title shot against Sean Strickland.

Watch Khamzat Chimaev’s appearance on the Full Send Podcast below:

Published on October 20, 2023 at 9:31 pm
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