Khamzat Chimaev is officially preparing for battle according to his manager, Ali Abdelaziz.
It wasn’t too long ago that Khamzat Chimaev practically announced his retirement from MMA for the world to hear. This sudden decision was brought about due to ongoing struggles with COVID-19 that were persisting much longer than expected. The Head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, claimed to have talked Chimaev out of leaving behind his smashing ways.
Whether he is truly the one responsible for the about-face or not, Chimaev did indeed announce that he will be commencing the 2021 Borz Smashing Tour sometime around July in a perfect world. In fact, his manager, Ali Abdelaziz claimed that Chimaev would be training with alligators and sharks in preparation for this comeback venture. Speaking with MMA Junkie on Monday, Abdelaziz provided an update on Chimaev’s progress, and all seems to be going as planned and Chimaev has officially begun training.
“He had a procedure,” Abdelaziz said. “Actually, his first day of training was three days ago. He’s coming back with a vengeance, man. He has so much to prove. He was the guy main-eventing. Guess what? COVID rules the world right now, and COVID got him. You see Alexander (Volkanovski), the (UFC) featherweight champion. I hope he’s OK. He had some problems with it. Khamzat had some problems with it. Now he’s 100 percent healthy. He’s back training this week or last week.
“We’ll see him at the end of July (or) August,” Abdelaziz said. “Even Dana (White) was asking me the other day. I told him the end of July or August he’ll fight. I told Sean (Shelby), too.”
The original plan was for Chimaev to face Neil Magny upon his return around this same time frame, ideally in July. However, Magny has recently been booked opposite Geoff Neal to actualize a bout that was originally planned last year. Therefore, it’s unlikely that Chimaev will be paired with Magny or Neal in what would be a very swift turnaround time for the winner.
Regardless, based on the enthusiasm Chimaev has shown to get back in the cage and the activity he was able to produce in 2020, he will no doubt be willing to face whoever the UFC brass decides to put in front of him.
Who would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev face when he returns to action later this year?