Undefeated prospect Khamzat Chimaev is expected to come back strong in 2021. That’s according to his manager Ali Abdelaziz, who spoke with MMA Junkie on Monday to provide some updates.
“His first day of training was three days ago. He’s coming back with a vengeance, man,” Abdelaziz said of the 26-year-old fighter. “He has so much to prove. He was the guy main-eventing. Guess what? COVID rules the world right now, and COVID got him.
“You see Alexander (Volkanovski), the (UFC) featherweight champion. I hope he’s OK. He had some problems with it. Khamzat had some problems with it. Now he’s 100 percent healthy. He’s back training this week or last week.”
Chimaev caught the virus in December, forcing him out of two rescheduled fights with top welterweight contender Leon Edwards. But “Borz” had such a severe case of COVID-19 that it urged him to contemplate retirement for a short while.
But now that he’s recovered and back in training, Abdelaziz expects Chimaev’s return within the next four months.
“We’ll see him at the end of July (or) August,” Abdelaziz said. “Even Dana (White) was asking me the other day. I told him the end of July or August he’ll fight. I told Sean (Shelby), too.
“Realistically, I think it’s time to slow it down a little bit, but I think he’s going to make a (bigger) statement on the comeback. He’s going to keep climbing. He’s a special talent. He’s a superstar, I believe, in the making. All of us will see.
“Everyone who understands MMA will understand what Khamzat brings. It is what it is, and we have to move on. Sickness can’t control that.”
Chimaev made a strong first impression in 2020, winning all of his three UFC fights impressively, with Performance of the Night honors to boot. His last Octagon appearance took place in September against Gerald Meerschaert, whom he knocked out inside 17 seconds.
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