Khamzat Chimaev will have to wait a bit to smash his next opponent.
The unbeaten UFC welterweight prospect dominated John Phillips and Rhys McKee in less than a two-week span last month in Abu Dhabi, but his hopes of competing in the United States at UFC 252 have presumably been squashed.
UFC president Dana White, who said he would make a Chimaev appearance at UFC 252 happen, admitted to Yahoo Sports that the promotion was unable to make it happen.
“We’re working on it,” White said (via MMA Junkie). “You know I want (him to fight). I want him here. I want him to come to America and fight. We’ll see what happens. … He wants to fight and people will fight him, but we’ve got to work on getting him in the (country). It ain’t easy getting people into the country right now.”
Chimaev lives and trains in Sweden, which is on the list of countries where travel to the United States is forbidden in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. While some foreign athletes have been granted exemptions, the UFC was not part of the list of leagues/associations covered by the White House’s policy.
The UFC does intend to return to Yas Island soon, perhaps as early as September, so that would be the easiest solution to getting Chimaev back in the cage as soon as possible. With the way that he easily ran through his first two opponents inside the Octagon, the hype train is already gaining steam.
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