UFC sensation Khamzat Chimaev says ‘I think I’m done’ fighting due to COVID-19 battle, but Dana White denies retirement talk

To say Khamzat Chimaev has been frustrated since contracting COVID-19 would be an understatement.

The Russian-born Swede was forced to pull out of his matchup with Leon Edwards that was scheduled for March 13.

Khamzat Chimaev was the breakthrough star for UFC in 2020
Getty Images – Getty

The fight was originally set for December, but Edwards tested positive for COVID. Then it was moved to January, but Chimaev tested positive.

Since then, the UFC sensation has really struggled to get back to full fitness and he was rushed to hospital during his training camp for the fight. He told friends he ‘thought he was going to die’.

UFC president Dana White decided to fly Chimaev over to Las Vegas in order to get him the best medical care possible, but Chimaev has remained upset with his diminished health.

“Thank you all so much for supporting me in my journey in this sport,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I think I’m done.”

According to MMA Fighting, Chimaev also said this week: “I don’t know what this disease is but it is not easily outlived.”

Speaking to MMA Junkie, White explained why Chimaev hinted at retirement and why there’s been so many complications in his recovery.

“When he got here, the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone which is a nasty f****** steroid,” White said.

“He’s supposed to be taking this thing and chilling, relaxing, and letting himself recover. He went in and f****** trained today, felt like s***, and got super emotional and posted that.

“He’s not supposed to be training, but you know, this guy’s a savage. He wants to fight like every f****** weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.”

Chimaev visibly struggles throughout the video due to his battle with COViD

White added that Chimaev will be ‘fine’ and that he just needs to actually rest to recover.

The UFC chief added: “He’s training when he’s supposed to be resting. He’s got to stay off, at least while he’s on this medication.”

Chimaev exploded onto the scene in UFC with a record-making two victories in ten days on Fight Island, both of which were finishes.

He followed that up with a 17-second knockout in his third fight that earned him a date with a ranked fighter like Edwards.

In good time, he’ll get his chance again.

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