In an emotional message earlier this month, UFC welterweight sensation Khamzat Chimaev announced his retirement from the sport.
In a now deleted post that Khamzat Chimaev wrote in his native tongue, the Russian-Swedish fighter stated he felt like was done with MMA and thanked everyone for their unwavering support.
The announcement from Khamzat Chimaev came in the wake of the cancelation of his fight with Leon Edwards. The two were booked to fight at UFC Vegas 21 for the third time after being canceled twice already due to COVID-19.
However, with Khamzat Chimaev showing lingering after effects of the disease, he was replaced by Belal Muhammad. The fight ended in a No Contest after Muhammad suffered an accidental eyepoke in the second round.
Speaking to Russian media outlet Sport24 correspondent Ivan Kovalev, Khamzat Chimaev revealed that he was in an emotional state of mind having suffered from the disease, and the sudden announcement was a result of that:
"Those were emotional words. I was sick for two months and could not recover from that. It was too long. I have already said it in a number of interviews - I was feeling sick, stressed by the fact that I could not fight, could not even train. That's why I posted it. It wasn't like I gave my word that I would retire. I said 'Maybe it's over for me'. Maybe it's over, maybe it's not, I don't know. I don't know what the Almighty prepared for us. Maybe I will die tomorrow. Maybe something will happen to my opponent and the fight will be postponed. I don't know. Everything at the will of the Almighty."
The UFC had flown Khamzat Chimaev to Las Vegas to provide the best possible treatment for the rising star. However, after spending some time in the US, Chimaev flew back to the Chechnyan capital Grozny and later on announced his retirement from the sport.
Khamzat Chimaev eyeing a return against Neil Magny
Dana White said to multiple media outlets following the announcement that Khamzat Chimaev had made that statement in the spur of the moment and was not really quitting MMA. It turns out the UFC president was right all along.
Khamzat Chimaev's more recent social media posts have hinted at him planning a return to the octagon soon. He is eyeing a fight against UFC veteran Neil Magny.
In an interview with ESPN, Khamzat Chimaev's manager Ali Abdelaziz also clarified that 'Borz' will start training in April and will be ready for a fight in July.