Khamzat Chimaev recently suggested that he was retiring from mixed martial arts after months of harsh COVID-19 complications kept him in and out of the hospital.
His lungs reportedly sustained serious damage, and the UFC rising star also posted a photo of what appears to be blood he coughed out. His manager also previously described how Chimaev “thought he was going to die.”
Despite the seriousness of his health matters, Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov and UFC President Dana White both came out with statements downplaying any talk of retirement.
Since then, Chimaev’s statement, along with almost every single post from his Instagram page, have all been deleted.
White has since discussed Chimaev’s “crazy” situation again, saying the fighter keeps trying to train instead of resting and listening to the doctors.
“I thought it was crazy,” White told Jim Rome (transcript via MMA Fighting). “We just talked to the guy. I just flew him out here to get looked at by doctors out here. The problem is the guy has no patience whatsoever. He wants to fight every weekend. He knows he has the abilities to be a world champion. He wants it now, he doesn’t want to wait.
“They had him on Prednisone, which is a nasty steroid to help his lungs recover and the guy’s going into the gym and training when he’s not supposed to be. He’s supposed to be relaxing. He’s supposed to get through this prescription then they’re going to find out how he looks and he wouldn’t wait. He just keeps on training. You can’t do that when you have what he’s got going on.
“These are the type of guys that fans want to see fight and want to follow and get behind,” White said about Chimaev. “But trying to contain and control this guy to do the right thing is absolutely impossible.”
While White previously seemed sure about Chimaev’s future, even phrasing as “he ain’t quitting,” the UFC President has changed his tune as his fighter continues to struggle as he receives treatment in Las Vegas.
“To be honest with you, I have no idea what’s going to happen with him,” White said. “I don’t know.”
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