Khamzat Chimaev, battling COVID-19, appears to announce retirement on Instagram

A rising UFC welterweight, Khamzat Chimaev stunningly seems to have retired

UPDATE: UFC President Dana White tells John Morgan of MMA Junkie that Khamzat Chimaev has not retired and is on track to return to the Octagon in June.

Mere days ago, Chimaev had made social media posts thanking White and the UFC for helping to bring him to the United States for COVID recovery. He was hoping for the June return against another notable welterweight in Neil Magny, telling Magny to “stay ready.”

Obviously, while it would be disappointing for Chimaev’s career to end here, and MMA retirements are quite fickle, a fighter’s health is the priority.

The MMA world has been left stunned on the evening of March 1, as Khamzat Chimaev, perhaps the biggest and most-talked-about newcomer on the UFC scene last year, appeared to announce retirement in an Instagram post.

Via the translation option on Instagram, the post reads “I want to say thank you all so much for supporting me in my journey in this sport. I think I’m done. Yes, I know I didn’t take the belt but it’s not the most important victory in this life. It may upset you but my heart and body tell me everything.”

Khamzat Chimaev, who has been battling COVID, appears to hang up gloves

Chimaev has been battling COVID-19 and has appeared to have been suffering through lingering effects. Chimaev and Leon Edwards were booked to headline a UFC event in December, but both reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, though Chimaev’s case was disputed.

The pair were rebooked for the Jan. 20 card, but Chimaev was confirmed to have been infected with COVID and the fight still could not go on. They were booked once more for March 13, but Chimaev’s longing recovery forced the fight to be scrapped again.

Per Aaron Bronsteter of TSN, Chimaev had made a post on his Instagram story minutes prior in which he also seemed to state he was focused on himself and his family, as well as dealing with his coronavirus battle.

Chimaev made his professional MMA debut in May 2018, winning his first six fights, all coming by a finish, four of them in the first round. This includes a perfect 4-0 record in Brave CF.

Chimaev made an impact, however, upon his UFC debut during the promotion’s first stint on Fight Island in July 2020, submitting John Phillips with a D’Arce choke and earning a performance bonus.

Chimaev then made a quick turnaround and fought just 10 days later, finishing Rhys McKee in just over three minutes, earning another post-fight bonus and setting a new modern UFC record for the quickest time between consecutive wins.

Seeking to quickly bolster a newfound welterweight star, Chimaev was booked against Gerald Meerschaert at UFC Vegas 11 in September, with the hopes of another quick turnaround later in 2020. Chimaev won the fight by knocking Meerschaert out with a punch in just 17 seconds, earning yet another performance bonus.

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Published at Tue, 02 Mar 2021 02:57:22 +0000

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