UFC star Khamzat Chimaev reportedly crashed a Mercedes Benz that was gifted to him by Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.
While Chimaev has not confirmed the news, a Chechen news account posted a video of the car, which was badly damaged from an apparent collision with a barrier. The car appeared to be identical to one that Chimaev posed with on Instagram earlier that day.
“Khamzat Chimaev had an accident yesterday,” the caption to the clip said, accruing thousands of views. “Khamzat himself was not injured.”
Chimaev was reportedly gifted the car by Kadyrov during a visit in January 2021, making him the latest UFC fighter to receive a luxury car from the dictator. Others who received such gifts from Kadyrov include former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Said Nurmagomedov, Maxim Grishin and former UFC flyweight Magomedo Bibulatov.
Chimaev’s accident was the latest incident in a difficult year for the UFC standout. The 26-year-old hadreportedly been hospitalized on numerous occasions after contracting COVID-19 last year. During one such stint, the Chechen native told his manager that he believed he was going to die. Later, he posted a picture on his Instagram story that showed a spray of blood in a sink, which underscores the serious long-term complications that plague many people recovering from the virus. Faced with a demoralizing situation, Chimaev took to social media to announce he was “done” with the sport.
Despite the apparent seriousness of Chimaev’s condition, Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov was quick put an end to Chimaev’s retirement talk.
“Khamzat said that his recovery from the illness has been slow, and, in an attempt to be honest and frank with the fans, he decided not to give them hope,” Kadyrov wrote on his VKontakte page on Tuesday, adding that he also arranged for Chimaev to return to Chechnya, where he will “complete a rehabilitation course” and “hold a training camp.”
Kadyrov’s decision to intervene and pressure Chimaev out of retirement emphasizes his value to the Chechen dictator. As one of the brightest prospects in the UFC, Chimaev has the potential to become the most successful Chechen athlete in a generation, which is why Kadyrov seized the opportunity to utilize the fighter in an attempt to further his own socio-political agenda.