Just weeks after retiring from MMA, Khamzat Chimaev announced his return to the competition. The Chechen Wolf entered UFC with an undefeated 6-0 record and within two months, he became the biggest rising stars in the promotion by demolishing three opponents back-to-back. His sensational KO win over Gerald Meerschaert also earned him a fight with potential title contender Leon Edwards. However, the bout never came to fruition as it was pushed back thrice before being cancelled after both the fighters contracted COVID-19.
The first bout, which was set for December, was postponed after Edwards tested positive for COVID-19. Rocky soon recovered and the bout was rebooked for January, but this time Chimaev tested positive, forcing the bout to be pushed again to March. However, unlike Edwards, Chimaev still showed lingering effects of the virus, which led UFC to cancel the bout entirely.
While Leon Edwards went on to fight Belal Muhammad earlier this month, Chimaev continued to battle the virus, which ultimately led to his retirement announcement. Photos of a bloody sink and his manager calming that the fighter felt like he was going to die in the hospital, proved that COVID-19 was taking a heavy toll on the 26-year-old. “I think I’m done. Yes, I know that I didn’t take the belt, but this is not the most important victory in this life. It may upset you, but my heart and body tell me everything,” Chimaev wrote on Twitter.
Shortly after Chimaev announced his retirement, Dana White told reporters that Chimaev took the action in the heat of the moment. “He wants to fight like every f**king weekend, and now he can’t even train. So he just got emotional and posted that. But he ain’t quitting,” White added. Apart from the UFC boss, Chimaev also received some heat from Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, who was upset by the retirement news, asking the Lone Wolf to continue “inspiring the youth”.
So it’s not that surprising that the UFC welterweight has decided to lace up his gloves again. On Tuesday, the 26-year-old took to social media and posted a picture of himself with the caption: “Surprise surprise I’m coming back to smash everybody”. However, Dana White is yet to make Chimaev’s return official and reveal who the Chechen Wolf will fight next.
Surprise surprise I’m coming back to smash everybody ð pic.twitter.com/2oOFJ1N4CN— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) March 23, 2021