Earlier this summer, it was revealed that Khamzat Chimaev had separated from Dominance MMA, the management team he shared with former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. What set the separation in motion was a reported rift between Chimaev and the team after he stated in a Q&A session that he would “smash” Khabib if the two fought.
After these remarks were made public, things escalated on social media between Chimaev and Khabib’s cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who called Chimaev out for his comments. Coincidentally, just weeks later, Chimaev was under new management.
For his part, Khabib has downplayed Chimaev’s remarks and stated that he was not disappointed in what was said, essentially because he did not know Chimaev well enough to feel strongly about the comments in one direction or another.
Now, for the first time since the split with Dominance MMA, Khamzat Chimaev has addressed the comments he made in the Q&A in more detail and whether or not he has any beef or harsh feelings concerning Khabib.
“This guy [Khabib], we looked up to him beginning and now still look up to him,” Chimaev told Frontkick.online. “He (became) a champ, he’s one of the best fighters in the world. And people think I hate him. I love him because he’s Muslim. I’m Muslim. He come from some village like me, same country, same small Republic, like Chechnya, Dagestan. It’s the same. I have a lot of brothers from Dagestan. He’s Muslim, I’m Muslim, we’re brothers.
“I answered to some bullshit guy, but nobody knows him. It’s my (mistake) because I answer for him. He said like, ‘Khabib gonna smash you…’ If somebody say to you, ‘He gonna smash you,’ of course I’m gonna answer it like, ‘No, nobody gonna smash me. I’m gonna smash everybody. If you a real man, you have to think like that.”
Khamzat Chimaev is set to make his return to competition for the first time in 2021 when he takes on Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi this October. A victory would keep Borz on track to maybe someday have a record that approaches Khabib’s 29-0 and a career that leads the next generation of Russians to look up to him in the same way he admires The Eagle. If Chimaev reaches such heights, hopefully, no “bullshit guy” will come along and stir up trouble between Chimaev and his smashing successor.