Khamzat Chimaev no longer looks to be retiring as he shared an Instagram post hinting at a return to the Octagon. Sharing an adorable video of him hugging UFC president Dana White, Chimaev wrote in the caption:
See you soon bro @danawhite
Prior to this, Khamzat Chimaev had thanked the UFC and Dana White for taking care of his treatment and shared a rough date for a return. Chimaev wrote in an Instagram post from February:
want to say thank you to @danawhite and @ufc Give me medical treatment and taking care of me first class thank you and I’m very grateful see in June
Dana White has supported Khamzat Chimaev throughout his battle with COVID-19
Khamzat Chimaev last saw action in September 2020 when he scored a 17-second knockout on middleweight Gerald Meerschaert. However, the fast-rising prospect would suffer a setback. He started a long battle with COVID-19, with his long standing bout against Leon Edwards getting cancelled several times in the process.
Amidst stories of blood in the sink, Khamzat Chimaev surprisingly took to Instagram to announce his retirement. In a now deleted Instagram post, Chimaev wrote in Russian (via Google translate):
I want to say thank you to everyone for their support in my path in this sport я 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 @allstarsgymsweden. I want to say a huge thank you @ufc
Soon afterwards, Dana White confirmed that Khamzat Chimaev was not likely to retire in actuality and the announcement was rather the result of an emotional outburst. Dana White told MMA Junkie in an interview:
"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."