UFC: Khamzat Chimaev Announces Retirement, Dana White Responds
In the last hour, Khamzat Chimaev has taken to social media to announce his retirement from MMA.
Taking to Instagram, Chimaev said that he listened to his heart and body, and decided to hang up his gloves.
“I want to say thank you to everyone for their support in my path in this sport,” Chimaev wrote. “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.”
Chimaev then posted a photo showing what appeared to be blood that he had coughed up in his bathroom sink, saying that he doesn’t know exactly what COVID is, but knows it’s extremely serious.
“Take care of yourself and your family, this is the important thing. The main thing is I don’t know what this disease is, but it is not easily outlived.”
After destroying three opponents in 66 days, Chimaev was scheduled to face the number three ranked UFC welterweight Leon Edwards three times, but the fight fell through each time. Once due to ‘Rocky’ catching the coronavirus, but twice due to ‘Borz’ experiencing lingering effects from having COVID at the end of 2020.
At the UFC 258 post fight press conference, Dana White confirmed that the UFC would fly Chimaev out to Las Vegas to receive treatment. The Russian born Swede arrived in Nevada a few days later.
Earlier this week, Khamzat Chimaev tweeted that he hopes to return in June against Neil Magny.
In the last few minutes, MMA Junkie‘s John Morgan has tweeted that he has spoken to Dana, who told him that Chimaev is still on schedule to return in June. According to the UFC president, the 26 year old is just feeling frustrated right now.
“When he got here, the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty f***ing steroid,” Dana said. “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***ing trained today, felt like s***, 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***ing weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.
“He was flown out here so that we could take care of him. We get him taken care of. They got him on medication. He’s going to be fine, and he goes in and starts f***ing training. He’s not supposed to be training, and he’s super frustrated. He’s training when he’s supposed to be resting. He’s got to stay off, at least while he’s on this medication.”
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has posted to Instagram that he convinced Chimaev to continue fighting.
“Friends, you’ve probably already heard the news about Khamzat Chimaev, who announced his departure from the UFC in his account,” Kadyrov wrote. “Not believing my eyes, I called and talked to Chimaev.
“Khamzat said that recovery from illness is slow, and in an attempt to be honest and frank with the fans, he decided not to give them hope.
I told him that ALL the Chechen people were upset by this news. I reminded Chimaev that all our young people, whom he inspires, are pinning great hopes on his victory, but what can I say – MILLIONS OF FANS IN RUSSIA AND THE WORLD! And if fans need to wait for his return, then we will all look forward to his walk to the Octagon with trepidation and patience.
“During our conversation, Chimaev realised how important his career is for every Chechen and promised to make every effort to recover as soon as possible. In the near future, he will fly to the republic, where he will complete a rehabilitation course, hold a training camp and start training. And this means that Khamzat does not leave, HE STAYS AND WILL FIGHT TO THE END! Heart and body whispered ‘everything!’, – this is what Khamzat wrote on Instagram. But the Chechen SPIRIT and the will to win shout to him ‘Forward!’ Therefore, I know for sure that Khamzat will take the UFC belt and prove that he is the best of the best!
“And I urge the fans to make a pact, and ask the Almighty for health and a speedy recovery for our beloved athlete, a fellow Muslim, Khamzat Chimaev!”
Chimaev responded to the post by thanking Kadyrov.
“Thank you so much Ramzan,” Chimaev wrote in the comments. “You are the one who always worry about us and help us when we need.”