With a bit of luck, rising UFC star Khamzat Chimaev’s battle with long-Covid may finally be drawing to a close.
“Surprise surprise I’m coming back to smash everybody,” Chimaev wrote on Twitter earlier this week, and now his manager Ali Abdelaziz has confirmed that he is set to return to training soon.
“He’s probably going to start training in the middle of April, and is looking to fight in the beginning of July,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “He’s still getting medical treatment on a daily basis, but he is doing much better. Neil Magny is the guy we have in mind as an opponent, but let’s see what happens.”
It’s nice to finally be hearing some good news out of Chimaev’s camp as it was only a few weeks ago that the fighter himself had claimed that he was going to retire due to being unable to train due to the lingering effects of Covid, which had affected his lungs in particular.
Dana White quickly smoothed over the retirement talk, explaining that Chimaev had just been overly-emotional and needed to rest rather than attempting to train while he was still undergoing medical treatment.
“I think a lot of us don’t truly know what these young fighters go through,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “It’s impossible to live inside their heads and inside their bodies, and sometimes they say things out of frustration or they are just mad they can’t do what they love to do. Khamzat has been doing this all his life, so he’s almost felt crippled not being able to train, but he’s healthy now and he’s going to start training.
“I was talking to him this week and he even said he’s going to be swimming with alligators and sharks, and doing movement with these creatures, as part of a special training program.”
As for the possibility that he’ll fight Magny next, the fighter in question is willing to go up against him, but isn’t going to hang around until July for his next Octagon outing.
“I will fight him any day of the week,” Magny said told mmafighting.com. “But there’s no way I’m putting my career on hold so that he could hopefully fight me come July.
“He needs to focus on getting healthy first. The ass-whooping he’s been asking for is long overdue, and is waiting on him.”