Khamzat Chimaev will receive medical treatment in the US for the lingering effects of a Covid-19 infection but there are hopes the Russian-born UFC sensation will return to the octagon by June, the fighter’s manager has said.
Chimaev’s highly-anticipated welterweight bout with Leon Edwards, which was set for March 13, recently fell through for a third time after the 26-year-old Chimaev continued to suffer the aftereffects of his infection.
After the contest was scrapped, UFC boss Dana White said he will look for a new opponent for British fighter Edwards – while Chimaev is left contemplating his road to a full recovery.
According Chimaev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, the welterweight star will now head to the US for further treatment.
“The UFC is flying Khamzat Chimaev into Las Vegas today,” tweeted ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, citing Abdelaziz.
“He’ll receive medical care in the US for lingering effects of Covid. Abdelziz says he hopes Khamzat can fight by June, but long-term health is top priority.”
The UFC is flying Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) into Las Vegas today, per his manager Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00). He’ll receive medical care in the U.S. for lingering effects of Covid. Abdelaziz said he hopes Khamzat can fight by June, but longterm health is top priority.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 17, 2021
Another of Chimaev’s representatives, Majdi Shammas, recently said that the Swedish-based star – who exploded onto the UFC scene with up three wins in the space of 66 days last year – at one point felt like he was “going to die” as he grappled with the aftereffects of the virus despite returning to training.
“Lately, the last weeks it’s crazy. The other day, when he finished the training on Tuesday, he couldn’t even walk up to his room. He didn’t even have the energy to go up to his room. He fell asleep in the lobby,” Shammas said.
“His friends called me, ‘Hey, Khamzat can’t even speak.’ His fever is so high, his headache is so much, muscle pain and everything.
“Then an ambulance came and got him to the hospital. Even when he was in the hospital, he called me. When he called me he thought he was going to die. It was really bad.”
The news is a bitter setback for Chimaev, who this year had been looking to consolidate his spectacular breakout success.
UFC boss Dana White had tipped him as the man to watch in 2021, and his match-up with the number three-ranked Edwards – who is riding an eight-fight winning streak – was seen as a major test of Chimaev’s championship credentials.
Chimaev has steamrolled each opponent he has faced thus far in the UFC octagon, and in his last fight needed just 17 seconds to knock out Gerald Meerschaert.
The man known as ‘Borz’ boasts an overall ledger of nine wins in nine professional MMA outings, with six of those victories coming by way of KO/TKO and three ending in submissions.