Khabib Nurmagomedov does not appear to be offended by the insults levied at him by Khamzat Chimaev and Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.
The former UFC lightweight champion was referred to as a “UFC project” by Kadyrov during an Instagram live chat last month, which led many to question the state of their previously cordial relationship. The controversial leader of the Chechen Republic (also known as Chechnya) went on to diminish Nurmagomedov’s achievements in the UFC before claiming that Chimaev, himself a Chechen native, is the superior fighter.
Kadyrov concluded his rant by offering to pay Nurmaogmedov “any fee [he desires]” to fight in his Akhmat MMA promotion, adding that he is “ready to give any amount of money to see if he defeats anyone in Akhmat.” This prompted Chimaev to claim that he can “smash” Nurmagomedov.
The comments came as a surprise given Nurmagomedov’s reportedly friendly ties to both Kadyrov and Chimaev. The former UFC champion has since downplayed Kadyrov’s comments, claiming that he is not offended by his statements.
“I just didn’t think that it was all necessary to react to this or something else,” Nurmagomedov told reporters (h/t RT Sports). “Every person has their own opinion, so let it be. I did not watch the live broadcast of Ramzan Kadyrov, I just read what [the media] write. How did I feel? Nothing. The whole world is discussing me. I do not see any insults in the expression ‘UFC project’.”
Asked about Chimaev’s comments and whether the UFC’s latest breakout star was trying further his brand, Nurmagomedov seemed unconcerned.
“I didn’t have any disappointment in Chimaev,” he said. “I have never seen this person. We talked with him on the phone a couple of times. You know, disappointment happens when you expect something from a person, some kind of return. But I never expected anything from Chimaev. If he thinks [things], let him write – that is his right.”
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