Khamzat Chimaev was on top of the world just a matter of months ago and now, according to recent posts on his official Instagram account, it seems as though he may be entering retirement very early. It seems like it was only a matter of days ago that everyone was on board the Chimaev hype train after he won two fights in dominating fashion in the space of ten days, and was awarded with his BJJ blue belt shortly after. It all started to go downhill shortly after Chimaev won his third fight with an early knockout, when he contracted Coronavirus on November 29th, 2020.
The positive test forced Chimaev to withdraw from a fight booked against Leon Edwards and although this was postponed by quite a while, he then had to withdraw a second time as he was still facing some lingering effects of the virus. The fight was booked for a third time for March 13th, but Dana White revealed last month that Chimaev was still suffering from the after-effects of his infection and this is when several members of the media started to voice concern over how long his recovery was taking. Now, Chimaev has released a pair of statements that seem to say that he is done with fighting for good as he puts his health as his top priority:
“Take care of yourself and your family — this is the most important thing, I don’t know what kind of illness it is, but it’s not easy to get through.”
“I want to say thank you to everyone for their support in my path in this sport. I think I’m done, yes, I know that I didn’t take the belt, but this is not the most important victory in this life, it may upset you, but my heart and body tell me everything. I want to say a huge thank you to my team All Stars Gym Sweden, I want to say a huge thank you UFC”
Dana White has since released an official statement on the news when speaking to MMA Junkie and he is denying that Khamzat Chimaev is now in retirement entirely. According to White, the recent social media posts are essentially a knee-jerk reaction to the difficulty Chimaev has had when returning to training after COVID-19:
“When he got here, the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty f*cking steroid. So he’s on prednisone, and he’s supposed to be taking this thing and chilling, relaxing, and letting himself recover. He went in and f*cking trained today, felt like sh*t, and got super emotional and posted that. He’s not supposed to be training, but you know, this guy’s a savage. He wants to fight like every f*cking weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.”
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