On Monday, UFC breakout star Khamzat Chimaev published an Instagram post that seemed to announce his retirement from MMA. Given the drastic COVID-19 complications that Chimaev has been enduring for the past several weeks, it would be easy to take the “retirement” with a grain of salt and chalk it up to fleeting emotions. Or at least that’s precisely what UFC president Dana White is doing.
“When he got here, the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty f*cking steroid,” White told MMA Junkie. “So he’s on prednisone, and he’s supposed to be taking this thing and chilling, relaxing, and letting himself recover. 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.”
Fans will almost undoubtedly read Dana White’s remarks and be struck with a sudden attack of déjà vu. It was back in October that another Russian-born undefeated fighter decided to walk away from the sport, and to this day Dana White has still refused to accept it. But unlike Khabib Nurmagomedov, Khamzat Chimaev is just getting started in the sport and still has worlds to accomplish. White is certain in his belief that Chimaev will have plenty of time to achieve big things and that his recovery process is going just as expected.
“He was flown out here so that we could take care of him,” White said. “We get him taken care of. They got him on medication. He’s going to be fine, and he goes in and starts f*cking training. He’s not supposed to be training, and he’s super frustrated.”
Do you think Dana White is in denial about another Russian-born fighter’s retirement or did Khamzat Chimaev fall victim to his emotions?