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Khamzat Chimaev is apparently working his way back to the octagon.
Lingering complications from COVID-19 have put Chimaev’s career on hold, forcing him out of two fights with Leon Edwards in December and March. According to Chimaev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz of Dominance MMA, the rising welterweight recently resumed training.
“He had a procedure,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie on Monday. “Actually, his first day of training was three days ago. He’s coming back with a vengeance, man. He has so much to prove. He was the guy main-eventing. Guess what? COVID rules the world right now, and COVID got him. You see Alexander (Volkanovski), the (UFC) featherweight champion. I hope he’s OK. He had some problems with it. Khamzat had some problems with it. Now he’s 100 percent healthy. He’s back training this week or last week.”
Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), the 2020 MMA Junkie “Newcomer of the Year,” has not competed since last September as he’s been in and out of the hospital because of COVID. But now that his health is improving, Abdelaziz expects a summer return and has informed the UFC as much.
“We’ll see him at the end of July (or) August,” Abdelaziz said. “Even Dana (White) was asking me the other day. I told him the end of July or August he’ll fight. I told Sean (Shelby), too. Realistically, I think it’s time to slow it down a little bit, but I think he’s going to make a (bigger) statement on the comeback. He’s going to keep climbing. He’s a special talent. He’s a superstar, I believe, in the making. All of us will see. Everyone who understands MMA will understand what Khamzat brings. It is what it is, and we have to move on. Sickness can’t control that.”
Chimaev, 26, burst onto the UFC scene in 2020 with two stoppage wins in 10 days to kick off his UFC tenure. He returned in September and made it three wins in three fights with a devastating 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert. All nine of Chimaev’s professional fights have been wins that ended inside the distance.
To see the full interview with Abdelaziz, check out the video below.