Not so long ago Khamzat Chimaev hit the headlines for saying he would “smash” retired UFC kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov, leading to a belief that there was bad blood between the two, but now the rising star has insisted that’s not the case and his quote was blown out of proportion.
“Some guy write something about me like, ‘Khabib going to smash you,’ and I answer for this guy, but it was my wrong because I answer to this bullsh*t guy that nobody knows,” Chimaev told Frontkick.online. “I answer him if he wants to smash me, I’m going to smash him, too. (I answered) like this because I’m a real man and I’m going to answer like that. If somebody says he’ll smash you, what do you want me to say?
“He said, ‘Khabib going to smash you,’ and in my head, if somebody says he’s going to smash you, of course I’m going to answer, ‘Nobody is going to smash me. I’m going to smash everybody.’
“If you’re a real man, you have to think like that, (unless) you’re some chicken you can’t stay up. Sometimes you forget you’re famous, and I become famous like one day before, and still sometimes and you wake up and think it’s normal life for you.”
Chimaev went on to stress that he’s been a fan of Khabib during his legendary MMA career and continues to look up to him.
“This guy I looked up to him in the beginning, and I still look up to him because he became a champ and he’s one of the best fighters in the world,” Chimaev said. “People think I hate him, but I love him because he’s Muslim. I’m Muslim. It’s like the same like he comes from some village like me, same country. Small republic like Chechnya, Dagestan like this is still the same. I have a lot of brothers from Dagestan, and yeah, I’m Muslim, he’s Muslim – alhamdulillah.”
After a long spell on the sidelines due to a particularly nasty battle with long-Covid, Chimaev is now set to return to action in October against Li Jingliang as he attempts to continue to extend his perfect 9-0 career record.