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‘It is impossible to respect Conor McGregor as a person,’ claims Khamzat Chimaev

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Khamzat Chimaev is nearing a return to UFC action.

Conor McGregor’s decline in the Octagon began after he took a hiatus to box Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017. Since then he has gone 1-3 in MMA, with losses to arch rivals Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. Over that time span McGregor has been subject to multiple run-ins with the law and various other controversies.

As McGregor’s impact on the field of play has dwindled, the Irishmen has laboured to create an impact on the sidelines—usually through extremely distasteful and insulting social media messages, most recently expressing his desire to literally kill someone during a fight.

McGregor’s online tirades have drawn criticism from all corners of the MMA community. Recently, highly touted UFC prospect Khamzat Chimaev gave his two cents, while speaking with Zuba TV.

“Yes, he achieved everything in the UFC – he was a champion in two weight classes,” said Chimaev (ht RT). “This I respect with him. But it is impossible to respect him as a person.”

Chimaev burst onto the UFC scene last year, winning his first three fights in the promotion and extending his pro record to 9-0. He made his debut on Fight Island with a submission of John Phillips, he followed that up 10 days later with a TKO of Rhys McKee. Then, at the UFC APEX, he KO’d Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds.

With the hype behind him at an all time high, the UFC supposedly found it difficult to book his next opponent. After a few months top ranked welterweight Leon Edwards stepped up to face him.

However, spells with COVID-19, for both Edwards and Chimaev, lead to that bout being scrapped. Chimaev suffered serious effects of the virus, so much so that he announced his retirement from fighting. However, he reversed that decision, possibly at the behest of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.

Now cleared to compete, Chimaev is expected to face Li Jingliang at UFC 267 on October 30.