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Manager: Khamzat Chimaev ‘thought he was going to die’ after being hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms

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Khamzat Chimaev’s struggles with COVID-19 have carried over into 2021.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Chimaev’s bout with Leon Edwards on March 13 has officially been canceled. This marks the third time that Chimaev and Edwards have seen a scheduled meeting fall through.

Edwards withdrew from the initial booking on Dec. 19 due to a positive COVID-19 test and a month later, it was Chimaev who withdrew as he recovered from a COVID-19 infection. The latest cancellation is also related to Chimaev’s ongoing battle with the virus.

In a video released by Frontkick, Chimaev’s manager Majdi Shammas offers a behind-the-scenes look at how badly Chimaev has been affected by COVID-19 and how difficult it was to lose the Edwards fight again.

“Those are the e-mails that we don’t like to send about clients,” Shammas said in the video. “But it is what it is and there’s nothing we can do. We tried to come back this Tuesday. He insisted that he wanted to train. Then we tried and it failed.

“He was really bad, you know? He didn’t even do two rounds straight. He did one round and then rested. He started coughing, he started feeling ill again, and we had to cancel the training. He even went to the ambulance, to the hospital.”

According to Shammas, he spoke with UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby and a UFC doctor about getting Chimaev a CT scan for his lungs and chest. He also mentions having a good relationship with Edwards and though he did not speak to him directly about Chimaev’s March 13 withdrawal, he wished Edwards the best in moving on to a good matchup.

In attempting to prepare for the Edwards fight, Chimaev apparently became so exhausted that at one point he failed to make back to his hotel room.

“He complained that he had some chest pains after the training, so we gonna check the heart as well,” Shammas said. “We have been in and out of hospitals so many times now. Nowadays, lately, the last weeks it’s crazy. The other day, when he finished the training on Tuesday, he couldn’t even walk up to his room. He didn’t even have the energy to go up to his room. He fell asleep in the lobby.”

In the video above, Chimaev can be seen collapsed on a couch in the lobby and is later shown asking the camera crew not to film him. Chimaev’s head coach Andreas Michael added that Chimaev was recently suffering from bronchitis and had to be put on antbiotics.

Shammas says that Chimaev’s COVID-19 symptoms became so bad at one point that he feared he was taken to the hospital and feared the worst.

“He can’t train,” Shammas said. “His friends called me, ‘Hey, Khamzat can’t even speak.’ His fever is so high, his headache is so much, muscle pain and everything. Then an ambulance came and got him to the hospital. Even when he was in the hospital, he called me, when he called me he thought he was going to die. It was really bad.”

Chimaev burst onto the scene last summer with two wins in the span of 10 days on Fight Island, finishing John Phillips and Rhys McKee. He followed up that a 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert two months later to score his third UFC win in two months. His pro record stands at 9-0.