Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Khamzat Chimaev Made A Promise To His Mother About Retirement

While his dominance in the sport is seemingly just beginning, rising UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev has revealed a promise he made to his mother that could see him hang up his gloves relatively early.

While a number of legends have continued to fight until losses build on their record and their ability to compete at the highest level falls away, namely GOAT contender Anderson Silva, a number of MMA’s best have exited on highs.

Georges St-Pierre took a hiatus after ruling over the welterweights before retiring after middleweight championship glory. Elsewhere, Khabib Nurmagomedov ended his career on the lightweight throne after building an unblemished 29-0 record and defending the belt three times.

While Islam Makhachev has since taken up the mantle of ‘new Khabib’, another Russian-born fighter whose pressure wrestling and dominance have drawn comparisons to “The Eagle” is Chimaev.

Despite “Borz” previously pushing away the comparisons owing to his knockout power, it appears there’s one respect in which the Chechen-born Swede hopes to replicate Khabib.

Following the tragic passing of his father Abdulmanap, Khabib retired after UFC 254 having promised his mother he’d call an end to his career in the absence of his father. During an interview prior to his battle with COVID-19 and 2021 return, Chimaev revealed a similar promise of his own he’s made to his mother.

“My mother thinks I become a champion after each fight I win. I did promise I will retire when I become a legit champion. So my goal is to be #1 and then I will retire.” (h/t Sports Manor)

While Chimaev could simply be referring to the welterweight title, it seems more likely his ambitions stretch to securing the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings, a status acquired by Khabib prior to his exit from the sport.

With the likes of Alexander Gustafsson, who trains alongside Chimaev at Stockholm’s Allstars Training Center, branding him a potential future GOAT contender, it would seem that if “Borz” continues on his current path, he could well have the opportunity to retire on top.

If he’s to do so, he’ll first have to extend his perfect promotional record to 5-0 this weekend when he shares the Octagon with Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Given the Brazilian’s #2 ranking, a victory for Chimaev could see him secure a date with champion Kamaru Usman before the year is out.

If he were to dethrone “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Chimaev’s retirement promise would be a whole lot closer to reaching reality. Perhaps if his rapid rise continues, he’ll push his plans back slightly.

Is Khamzat Chimaev’s plan smart? Should fighters retire when they’re at the top?

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