Ali Abdelaziz reveals Khamzat Chimaev has started training for his comeback, targeted in the summer, having been on the sidelines for several months due to COVID.
Chimaev has been suffering from lingering effects from having COVID in December, which scrapped his main event with Leon Edwards on two occasions, at UFC Fight Island 8 and UFC Vegas 21. Last month, an emotional ‘Borz’ announced his retirement from the sport after coughing up blood during a training session in Las Vegas. He later backtracked from his decision, however.
‘Coming Back With A Vengeance’
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Chimaev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz said that the 26 year old has recently resumed training, and is ‘coming back with a vengeance’.
“He had a procedure,” Abdelaziz said. “Actually, his first day of training was three days ago. He’s coming back with a vengeance, man. He has so much to prove. He was the guy main-eventing. Guess what? COVID rules the world right now, and COVID got him. You see Alexander [Volkanovski], the [UFC] featherweight champion. I hope he’s OK. He had some problems with it. Khamzat had some problems with it. Now he’s 100 percent healthy. He’s back training this week or last week.”
Timeline For Return
Chimaev made his UFC debut last July at UFC Fight Island 1, when he submitted John Phillips in the second round. Exactly ten days after his debut, the Russian born Swede TKO’d Rhys McKee in the first round at UFC Fight Island 3. Then in September, he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in only 17 seconds at UFC Vegas 11.
While Chimaev would love to fight every week, Abdelaziz thinks it’s time to slow things down for the breakout star, who should be ready to return in July or August.
“We’ll see him at the end of July [or] August,” Abdelaziz revealed. “Even Dana [White] was asking me the other day. I told him the end of July or August he’ll fight. I told Sean [Shelby], too. Realistically, I think it’s time to slow it down a little bit, but I think he’s going to make a [bigger] statement on the comeback.
“He’s going to keep climbing. He’s a special talent. He’s a superstar, I believe, in the making. All of us will see. Everyone who understands MMA will understand what Khamzat brings. It is what it is, and we have to move on. Sickness can’t control that.”
Who would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev fight upon his return to the Octagon?