In a candid and revealing interview with ESPN MMA, Khamzat Chimaev, the emerging UFC welterweight sensation, peeled back the curtain on his recent health challenges, responded to rumors surrounding his hiatus, hinted at a potential return at UFC 300, and expressed a fervent desire for a dream matchup against the legendary Jon Jones. The conversation provided fans with a comprehensive understanding of the physical and emotional journey ‘Borz’ has undergone during his time away from the Octagon.
Chimaev kicked off the discussion by addressing the speculations surrounding his absence from competition. Dismissing notions of avoiding fights, he clarified, “I was in the gym, just training, and I feel, I was sick now before, as like long time before.” This admission painted a picture of an athlete grappling with health issues, choosing a prudent approach focused on recovery and well-being over immediate returns to the cage.
The revelation that the UFC had approached Chimaev for a potential bout at UFC 300 sparked intrigue and excitement within the MMA community. While the undefeated fighter remained coy about specific opponents, he shared, “They didn’t say the names, they said if these guys, just, I don’t know what they mean with these guys. If somebody they going to fight soon and if they’re ready and they didn’t say some name.” The ambiguity surrounding the potential matchup at UFC 300 added an element of suspense and anticipation for fans eager to see ‘Borz’ back in action.
Detailing the severity of his recent health struggles, Chimaev disclosed, “I was sick like, 4-5 weeks, I was in the hospital like more than one week and there was some infection and some… stuff happening, I don’t know…” While maintaining a degree of privacy about the specifics, his candid acknowledgment illuminated the challenges he faced and the toll it took on his overall well-being.
Despite the physical setbacks, Chimaev’s tone reflected a fighter determined to return to the Octagon. When questioned about a potential appearance at UFC 300, he asserted, “So I will be ready man, they give me the fight at UFC 300 and so I don’t know.” This commitment showcased his unwavering resolve to overcome adversity and signaled his readiness for any challenge the UFC might present.
In an unexpected turn, Chimaev expressed deep admiration for Jon Jones, a revered figure in the sport. During a podcast interview, he lauded Jones’ influence on his growth as a fighter, praising the former light heavyweight champion’s training methods and expressing a desire to train together. Referring to Jones as a “dream match for everyone who wants to be in the history (books),” Chimaev’s respect for Jones transcended competition and delved into a shared passion for the sport’s legacy.
Adding a touch of humor to the conversation, Chimaev playfully addressed a hypothetical matchup against Jones in his prime, considering the weight class difference. He quipped, “He’s now a heavyweight. You’re asking me? For sure I think I will win. That’s a hard fight for everyone.” This lighthearted remark injected levity into the prospect of a clash between two fighters from different eras.
In essence, Chimaev’s revelations painted a nuanced portrait of a fighter navigating health setbacks, balancing the eagerness for competition with a mindful approach to well-being. Whether it’s a potential UFC 300 appearance or a dream matchup with Jon Jones, ‘Borz’ has set the stage for a compelling chapter in his UFC journey, leaving fans eagerly anticipating his return to the Octagon.