Khamzat Chimaev admits initial cancer fears after COVID issues caused him to cough up blood

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Farah Hannoun
·1 min read
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Khamzat Chimaev reveals that he had a massive health scare when battling from the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) has been suffering from lingering effects of COVID-19 and recently spent some time in Las Vegas to recover. But his over-eagerness to return to training led to him coughing up blood after a training session. The situation left the undefeated Chechen-born fighter worried that his health issues may be even more serious.

“Yes, (the medical care in Las Vegas) was good but they made me train,” Chimaev told RT Sport. “I was doing good at first, then they told me that I could start cardio training, and I felt sick again. I went to the bathroom and started coughing up blood. That just messed up my mind a bit. Honestly, it scared me. Cancer? Like, ‘I have been sick so long, why doesn’t it go away?’ Different thoughts were going through my mind. Plus, I was alone there in Las Vegas, struggling to overcome it all.”

Chimaev even contemplated retiring at one point, but is currently in Grozny, Russia, slowly easing his way back into training. He expressed interest in a summer showdown with Neil Magny and vows to return to his active ways when possible.

“If you are in shape, training all the time, why should you wait for two, three, four months?” Chimaev said. “When I am fit and injury-free, I can fight once a week.”

Since bursting onto the UFC scene in July, Chimaev has notched three stoppage wins in the span of two months, most recently knocking Gerald Meerschaert out in just 17 seconds in September.