According to RT a war of words is brewing between rising UFC sensation Khamzat Chimaev and the team built around former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. To make things more complicated (and delicate), Chimaev seems to have Checen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov on his side of the argument.
RT claims things have been gotten a little tense between those camps since Chimaev—whose family fled Chechnya for Sweden when he was 19—returned to his home country to be treated like Kadyrov’s latest plaything.
Recently, on an Instagram live video hosted by Kadyrov, Nurmagomedov, someone Kadyrov has hosted and feted on multiple occasions, came up. During that segment Chimaev weighed in and told viewers that “We will tear [Nurmagomedov] apart if he wants.”
This comment comes while Kadyrov has seemingly poked at ‘The Eagle’ with a challenge for him to come to Chechnya and fight someone from Kadyrov’s Akhmat MMA club. Kadyrov said he would pay Nurmagomedov as much money as he wants for the contest.
Kadyrov also added that this contest would be under the UFC’s banner. The dictator claimed we have already witnessed Nrumagomedov ‘tear’ through everyone in the UFC and now he wanted to see if the Dagestani could do it to the Chechens of Akhmat MMA.
Chimaev’s comments have been met with criticism from current UFC welterweight Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Khabib’s cousin.
Abubakar posted on social media that Chimaev should “be careful with his statements.”
“I see you quickly changed your shoes,” he wrote. “After moving to Sweden and writing a complaint against your own Chechen Republic that you are being infringed upon, you received documents for a good life in Sweden. But now, having gained fame, you, I see, have changed. Now you have come back and live in Chechnya, and everything is fine with you. I’m happy for you. Don’t lose this comfort zone.”
“Not long ago in America, you sat at the same table with us and ate, trained in the same gym, went to the Mosque together and called us brothers,” continued Abubakar. “And now you write that you will tear someone up. Yes, I agree, everyone has the right to express their opinion. But be careful with your statements.”
Abubakar Numagomedov is currently 1-1 in the UFC, which he joined in 2019 after a stint with the PFL. He lost his first fight in the Octagon, versus David Zawada, at UFC Moscow. In March, at UFC 260, he defeated Jared Gordon by unanimous decision.
Chimaev stormed onto the UFC scene last year with three impressive victories on ‘Fight Island’. His promotional debut was a brabo choke submission over John Phillips in July. He followed that up with a first round TKO of Rhys McKee and a 17 second KO of Gerald Meerschaert.
After being booked to face Leon Edwards in late 2020, Chimaev was sidelined with a serious bout of COVID-19. A slow recovery process, which featured Chimaev coughing up blood and suggesting he might quit fighting altogether, cancelled any hopes of him fighting Edwards.
Chimaev now claims he is back to full health.