Khamzat Chimaev has admitted he started fearing the worst after a training session gone badly wrong in the midst of his battle to recover from Covid-19.
After several failed attempts to shake off the illness, Chimaev had travelled to Las Vegas so that the UFC could have their own specialists oversee his treatment, but Covid was still taking a toll on him, both mentally and physically.
“Yes, (the medical care in Las Vegas) was good but they made me train,” Chimaev explained to RT Sport. “I was doing good at first, then they told me that I could start cardio training, and I felt sick again. I went to the bathroom and started coughing up blood.
“That just messed up my mind a bit. Honestly, it scared me. Cancer? Like, ‘I have been sick so long, why doesn’t it go away?’ Different thoughts were going through my mind. Plus, I was alone there in Las Vegas, struggling to overcome it all.”
The distress that incident caused led to Chimaev writing on Twitter that he was going to retire, despite being just 26-years-old, but thankfully his condition appears to have improved considerably since then and he now appears to have rediscovered the mentality that helped make him a star in the first place.
“If you are in shape, training all the time, why should you wait for two, three, four months?” Chimaev said. “When I am fit and injury-free, I can fight once a week.”
Chimaev recently targeted a fight against Neil Magny for his comeback, though for his part Magny indicated he wasn’t willing to hang around waiting until the summer while his rival got back to 100% fitness.