Ali Abdelaziz has confirmed that surging UFC welterweight and middleweight contender Khamzat Chimaev has begun preparing for his imminent return to the Octagon. However, the method of training is slightly unconventional, to say the least.
According to Ali Abdelaziz, the Russian-born Swedish fighter told him that he is apparently undergoing water training with alligators, sharks, and crocodiles. Now we know that Russian fighters have a history of using unconventional training methods.
Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov wrestled with bears as a kid. And now Chimaev is apparently training with alligators, sharks, and crocodiles.
However, their unconventional training methods do bear fruit inside the Octagon. Nurmagomedov retired with a perfect 29-0 record and as the greatest lightweight of all time.
While it's still early days, Chimaev seems to be following in Khabib's footsteps with a record of 9-0 currently. Chimaev has competed inside the Octagon just thrice, ending up finishing all the fights in dominant fashion.
Khamzat Chimaev is now set to return to the Octagon this summer after having announced his retirement earlier this year due to COVID-19 related complications.
While there was constant speculation surrounding his future, UFC president Dana White publicly stated that Chimaev's retirement isn't official and was just an emotional outburst. White also said that Khamzat Chimaev is set to return in June.
Here's what Khamzat Chimaev wrote on his Instagram account while announcing that he had decided to retire from the sport:
"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. I want to say a huge thank you to UFC."
2021 started on a tragic note for Chimaev, as his health condition rapidly deteriorated due to the coronavirus's lingering effects. But the fighter is now recuperating and is officially on the road to recovery.
Khamzat Chimaev eyeing Neil Magny fight for UFC return?
In a recent tweet, Khamzat Chimaev said that he is coming back to 'smash' everybody, indicating that he feels fit enough to step inside the cage again. His manager, Ali Abdelaziz, said he wants Chimaev to face either Neil Magny or Kevin Holland in a welterweight bout on his return.
However, Chimaev seems to like the idea of fighting Magny and called him out in a recent tweet as well. Magny's last fight was a loss against Michael Chiesa at UFC Fight Island 8 last January.