Less than a year ago, Khamzat Chimaev was on a fast track to MMA superstardom. But after a prolonged battle with COVID-19, it’s looking like that journey has come to an abrupt end.
The 26-year-old Chechnya-born fighter recently took to Instagram to say he’s “done” with his professional career. This announcement came just a couple of days after calling out Neil Magny for a fight in June.
Via Google Translate:
I want to say thank you to everyone for their support in my path in this sport. I think I’m done. Yes, I know that I didn’t take the belt, but this is not the most important victory in this life. It may upset you, but my heart and body tell me everything.
I want to say a huge thank you to my team @allstarsgymsweden
He also posted some rather concerning images on his Instagram stories.
Chimaev also posted the following in his Instagram Story about 25 minutes ago.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) March 2, 2021
Translated photo via Reddit courtesy of r/mma user u/thesalamandirk pic.twitter.com/swBAaI9AT3
Chimaev caught the dreaded disease in late December which led to his removal from his rescheduled headliner against Leon Edwards for January 20. But the virus apparently ravaged his system so badly, he was once again forced off the third rescheduling set for March 13.
In mid-February, Chimaev’s manager revealed some troubling details about the young fighter’s ordeals while dealing with the disease.
Chimaev made his UFC debut in July 2020 against John Phillips and came out victorious via second-round submission. He made the quickest turnaround in the UFC when he stepped in ten days later to defeat Rhys McKee via first-round TKO. He capped off the year with a 17-second knockout win over Gerald Meerschaert two months later.
Chimaev holds a record of 9-0. All of his wins ended by stoppage.