UFC 2020 breakout star, Khamzat Chimaev, appeared to be calling it quits on his short-lived career after he released an Instagram post that revealed he was still suffering post covid affects. The post translates into the following:
“I want to say thank you to everyone for their support in my path in this sport. I think I’m done, yes, I know that I didn’t take the belt, but this is not the most important victory in this life, it may upset you, but my heart and body tell me everything.
Want to say a huge thank you to my team All-Star Gym Sweden. I want to say thank you so much UFC.”
Kadyrov Changes Khamzat’s Mind
However, since then both UFC President Dana White and the leader of Chechnia, Ramzan Kadyrov have revealed that Khamzat is not yet ready to hang up his gloves. Kadyrov posted the following message on Twitter, following Khamzat’s initial retirement post:
“Khamzat said that the recovery from illness is slow, and, trying to be honest and frank with the fans, he decided not to give them hope. I told him that ALL the Chechen people were upset by this news. (I) reminded Chimaev that all our young people, whom he inspires, are pinning great hopes on his victory, but what can I say – MILLIONS OF FANS IN RUSSIA AND THE WORLD! And if fans need to wait for his return, then we will all look forward to his entry into the octagon with trepidation and patience” (translation via Google’s online translator).
Kadyrov stated that this line of encouragement was able to convince Khamzar to reevaluate his decision:
“During our conversation, Chimaev realized how important his career is for every Chechen and promised to make every effort to recover as soon as possible. In the near future, he will fly to the republic, where he will complete a rehabilitation course, hold a training camp and start training. And this means that Khamzat does not leave, HE REMAINS AND WILL BEAT TO THE END!”
Dana White Weighs In
Kadyrov’s post has further reinforced a statement released earlier by Dana White. White labelled Chimaev’s retirement post as a move born out of frustration and emotion.
“He went in and f*cking trained today, felt like sh*t, and got super emotional and posted that. He’s not supposed to be training, but you know, this guy’s a savage. He wants to fight like every f*cking weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.”
Khamzat was previously booked to fight Leon Edwards. However, he has obviously been forced to back out due to the long-lasting effects of Covid on his body. Belal Muhammed has since replaced Chimaev.