After wowing Dana White over the summer Khamzat Chimaev landed a plum opportunity to leap frog the competition and get himself into the title picture at 170 lbs. On December 19th the 3-fight UFC veteran is scheduled to face top ranked welterweight Leon Edwards.
The booking opposite Edwards was the culmination of Chimaev’s campaign to land a ranked opponent, while claiming (incorrectly) that no one wanted to fight him. The booking also came after Edwards was removed from the UFC rankings for inactivity, which threatened to erase the progress he had earned after an 8-fight win streak in the promotion.
With the fight three weeks out, it is conceivable that Chimaev—if he’s asymptomatic—would still be in fighting shape for December 19th. However, if Chimaev does have the virus, and he does not quarantine, he risks spreading it to his coaches and training partners.
MMA Junkie’s John Morgan spoke with Chimaev’s team and reported that ‘Borz’ is still “good to go”. Morgan did not confirm if Chimaev actually had tested positive for COVID-19.
Chimaev’s team tells me that he is still “good to go” for Dec. 19 at this time. https://t.co/xFbFIBxRlF— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) November 29, 2020
Georgian MMA writer Giorgi Kokiashvili spoke with Chimaev’s training partner Guram Kutateladze, who claimed that stories stating Chimaev had the virus were not true.
I just spoke with Guram Kutateladze about Khamzat Chimaev and COVID-19 rumor and he said - NO.— Giorgi Kokiashvili (@iHeartGeorgius1) November 30, 2020
Guram is currently with Khamzat in Las Vegas and they are training together. #UFC #MMA #GuramKutateladze #KhamzatChimaev pic.twitter.com/sdnPEpPCIq
The UFC saw last weekend’s UFC Vegas 15 main event canceled due to headliner Curtis Blaydes testing positive for COVID-19. This weekend’s headline fight between Jack Hermansson and Kevin Holland was also canceled after Holland tested positive for COVID-19.