Is Khamzat Chimaev retiring after health scare? 'Borz's' manager breaks silence after social media rumor mill goes into overdrive

Injuries and health issues have plagued Khamzat Chimaev
Injuries and health issues have plagued Khamzat Chimaev's career in recent times. [Image courtesy: @khamzat_chimaev on Instagram]

Khamzat Chimaev's manager Majdi Shammas cleared the air on Borz's' retirement. Chimaev was expected to fight former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in Riyadh on June 23. However, rumors of his retirement from competition have caught steam on social media after he was forced to pull out of the fight due to a health concern.

It was speculated that a potential win over Whittaker would set the stage for Chimaev to get a title shot against reigning champion Dricus du Plessis. Additionally, the fight's positioning as the headlining bout at the UFC's inaugural event in Saudi Arabia raised the stakes further.

But the notion quickly changed after Chimaev's illness and the retirement rumors gained traction. In a recent interview with Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie, Shammas said:

"The retirement rumors are absolutely not true. We're planning on getting to the bottom of this situation, the problems. He [Khamzat Chimaev] will be back."

As per the recent reports and statements from close associates, Chimaev had to pull out of the fight due to severe food poisoning. 'Borz' also broke his silence and shared a heartwarming message on Instagram to give his take on the situation.

Khamzat Chimaev's struggles with health issues

Khamzat Chimaev rose to prominence due to his dominant fighting style and willingness to fight opponents on short notice. In his initial run in the UFC, the 30-year-old defeated three opponents in a little over eight weeks. However, the Chechen fighter could not keep the momentum on his side due to repeated health issues.

In early 2021, Chimaev suffered from a severe case of COVID-19 infection and contemplated retirement. He had to remain on the sidelines for 13 months before making a return to competition with a first-round submission win over Li Jingliang at UFC 267.

In January 2024, Chimaev posted a picture on social media to reveal that he was ill. While he made a full recovery and was set to compete in the most consequential fight of his career this weekend, another health issue has delivered a severe blow to his title aspirations.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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