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Morning Report: Khamzat Chimaev discusses his COVID-19 recovery: ‘I am still here, unfortunately for my opponents’

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Khamzat Chimaev
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Khamzat Chimaev has almost fully recovered from COVID-19 and he says that’s bad news for all of his future opponents.

Last year, Chimaev burst into the MMA consciousness when he recorded three dominant victories in the span of just two months, an achievement which earned him 2020’s Breakout Fighter of the Year award. Those three wins were supposed to set up Chimaev for a huge welterweight bout against third-ranked Leon Edwards in December, however Chimaev contracted COVID-19 and the bout was postponed to March. In February though, Chimaev still had not fully recovered from the effects of COVID-19 and the bout was cancelled. Last week, Chimaev’s manager revealed that the 26-year-old Chechen fighter was once again in good spirits and planning a return to the cage this summer and now, Chimaev has verified that he has fully recovered from COVID-19 and he’s soon to get back to full training.

“All good. I have recovered and started light training,” Chimaev told RT Sport. “As soon as Ramadan is over we will begin working at 100 percent.”

The turnaround from Chimaev is encouraging as he seemingly retired from the sport with post on Instagram at the beginning of this month. After it happened, UFC President Dana White said that Chimaev wasn’t actually going to retire but was just emotional from his long battle with COVID-19, which Chimaev echoed here, saying that after suffering another setback when he was at the UFC PI in Las Vegas, he began to seriously worry for his longterm health, even wondering if he had cancer.

“Those were emotional words. I was sick for two months and could not recover from that,” Chimaev said. “It was too long... I was feeling sick, stressed by the fact that I could not fight, could not even train. That’s why I posted it. It wasn’t like I gave my word that I would retire. I said, ‘Maybe it’s over for me.’ Maybe it’s over, maybe it’s not. I don’t know. We don’t know what the Almighty has prepared for us. Maybe I will die tomorrow. Maybe something will happen to my opponent and the fight will be postponed. Everything at the will of the Almighty...

“I was doing good at first, then they told me I could start cardio training and I felt sick again. I went to the bathroom and started coughing up blood. That just messed up my mind a bit. Honestly, it scared me... Cancer? Like, I have been sick for so long, why doesn’t it go away? Different thoughts were going through my mind, plus I was alone there in Las Vegas, struggling to overcome it all.”

Ultimately, Chimaev left Vegas and flew back to Grozny, Chechnya, where after some time, he now says he’s feeling better.

“Some people die because of that disease, but I didn’t,” Chimaev said. “I am still here, unfortunately for my opponents.”

And with his bout with COVID-19 finally in the rear-view, Chimaev says he’s looking to pickup right where he left off: competing as often as the UFC will let him.

“If you are in shape, training all the time, why should you wait for two, three, four months?” Chimaev concluded. “When I am fit and injury free I can fight once a week.”

Chimaev is currently 9-0 in MMA and rumors indicate the UFC is looking at matching him up with No. 9-ranked welterweight Neil Magny this summer.


TOP STORIES

Results. Francis Ngannou became UFC heavyweight champion in devastating fashion at UFC 260.

Superfight. Francis Ngannou wants Jon Jones next, doesn’t believe Stipe Miocic trilogy is necessary – but he’ll do it ‘if needed’.

Wage suppression. Dana White: Derrick Lewis ‘fight to make’ vs. Francis Ngannou, but Jon Jones knows who to call.

Upset. Jon Jones: Dana White’s UFC 260 remarks ‘huge slap in the face,’ Derrick Lewis can have next title shot.

Trilogy. Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier 3 could take place July 10; Poirier likes Dana White’s pitch.

IPO. Endeavor reportedly looking at buying out UFC minority owners to set the stage for another IPO.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 260 Post Show.

UFC 260 Post Fight Press Conference.

ESPN’s reaction to the main event.

Ngannou KOs Stipe.


LISTEN UP

On to the Next One. Matches to make following UFC 260.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC 260, Ngannou-Jones, and Bellator.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Reactions.

Taking the loss well.

Statement.

Statement from Ottman Azaitar on his brother’s loss.

Chael carrying that water.

Beef.

Also, a training montage.

This is objectively false.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Patricky Freire (23-9) vs. Peter Queally (12-5-1); Bellator 258, May 7.

Lauren Murphy (14-4) vs. Joanne Calderwood (15-5); UFC 263, June 12.

Omari Akhmedov (21-5-1) vs. Brad Tavares (18-6); UFC 264, July 10.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who does Ngannou fight next?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Jon Jones
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  • 59%
    Derrick Lewis
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  • 3%
    Stipe Miocic
    (15 votes)
487 votes total Vote Now

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