Till was recently in Las Vegas alongside Chimaev and his Allstars Training Center entourage for the UFC 279 pay-per-view. Whilst “Borz” was widely expected to add the name of Nate Diaz to his perfect professional record in the main event, he had to settle for a co-main event victory over Kevin Holland instead.
That change came when an already bizarre fight week peaked with Chimaev’s 7.5-pound misstep on the scale, which led to a whole host of changes to the event’s main card.
Although he exited the T-Mobile Arena on September 10 with another victory on his blossoming UFC résumé, Chimaev did so as the promotion’s newest villain following a controversial series of events leading up to the PPV.
And like many, former UFC lightweight king Khabib had a less than positive assessment of Chimaev’s antics and weight miss. During an event for the non-profit Human Appeal, “The Eagle” suggested that the Chechen-born Swede needs more Muslims around him.
“If you are a Muslim, you should have good people around you – Muslims who can say: ‘Hey, don’t do this,’” Khabib said. “I recently watched the weigh-in of Khamzat Chimaev. I followed what was happening with his weight and looked at his team. There are no Muslims around him and this is very bad. Because if you are a Muslim, you need good, strong people around you.”
Till: ‘I Don’t Like What Khabib Said’
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Till sought to defend Chimaev, who he’s formed an unlikely friendship with since heading to Stockholm to train last year.
After making note of Khabib’s remarks, “The Gorilla” insisted that Chimaev has plenty of good people around him, including himself. Till said that he has nothing but the welterweight star’s best interests at heart.
The Liverpudlian also questioned whether those berating Chimaev have ever made a mistake in their lives. In that sentiment, he included Khabib’s own career struggles on the scales.
“The people that talk, it’s like they’ve never made a mistake… I seen Khabib saying Khamzat doesn’t have good people around him,” Till noted. “Now, I get it, I get the Muslim faith; I’ve got some very close Muslim friends here in Liverpool and abroad… I just don’t like him saying — I don’t know if he’s directing it at me or some of Khamzat’s other team, his coaches, teammates, whatever; there’s a few of us who aren’t Muslim — I don’t like it because I’ve only got Khamzat’s best interests (at heart). I’ve got his back more than anyone.
“Khabib’s missed weight like five times, man. He’s got good people around him… What, ’cause me and Khamzat have a bit of fun on camera and we’re a little bit wild, does that mean I’m not good people? Or his coaches aren’t good people?” Till continued. “His Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach is one of the best grapplers of all time. He’s not muslim, does that mean he’s bad peoples?”
While Till went on to proclaim his respect for Khabib, who retired from the sport with a perfect 29-0 record following his October 2020 victory, the #9-ranked middleweight asserted that the same can’t be said for the Russian’s latest remarks.
“As much as I do respect Khabib as a person and as a fighter, I do not respect him coming out with comments like that… I don’t like it,” Till concluded.
Do you agree with Darren Till’s response to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s comments?