Friday, January 28, 2022

Luke Rockhold Claims Khamzat Chimaev Turned Down Fight

Luke Rockhold has made quite the claim about Khamzat Chimaev.

Chimaev became a rising prospect seemingly overnight in 2020. He had his first two UFC bouts just 10 days apart. He submitted John Phillips and stopped Rhys McKee via TKO in that short span. He followed that up with a one-punch knockout victory over Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds.

Chimaev was expected to receive his biggest opportunity against Leon Edwards. Both men tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout was rescheduled. Unfortunately for Chimaev, he couldn’t go through with the fight as he needed more time to recover.

Former UFC Middleweight Champion, Rockhold, told Ariel Helwani that Chimaev turned down a late summer fight against him.

“Luke Rockhold tells me he was offered a main event vs. Khamzat Chimaev on Aug. 28. He said he accepted but just got word Chimaev declined because he’s staying at 170. He also accepted a 3-rounder vs Chimaev on Aug. 7.

“‘All respect but I thought he would fight anyone,’ he said. Rockhold is hoping to fight by the end of the summer, he said. Wants a top-ranked 185er.”

Rockhold was last seen in action back in July 2019. He was knocked out by Jan Blachowicz, who currently holds the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Rockhold had said he wasn’t interested in returning to the Octagon but once he returned to the gym, he got that itch to compete again.

As far as Chimaev’s fighting future goes, there is some good news. Back in April, Chimaev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told MMA Junkie that the Russian-born Swedish bruiser is at full health.

Time will tell what’s next for Rockhold and Chimaev now that we know the two won’t be sharing the Octagon anytime soon.

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