Khamzat Chimaev: Undefeated Chechen Predator Ruthlessly Tortures his Rivals in the Octagon
Born in Chechnya during the War. Khamzat Chimaev emigrated with his family to Sweden in search for a better life. These days he's aspiring for the title in the largest MMA organization in the world.
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Khamzat Chimaev has caused quite a stir in the world of MMA and his voice is getting more and more powerful. Gaining the attention of all those engaged in martial arts, as well as respect of those who have considered him to be unnecessarily overrated until now. Whenever he shows up in the cage, you know there will be ruckus and it sure won't be a boring match. He's the new star of UFC and has all the potential to keep shining for a long time. After all, his message "I will smash everybody" is a punchline at this point.
Predator tearing up its prey
Khamzat Chimaev is 27 years old, he's almost two meters tall, has the strength of a hundred men and no idea what it's like to lose. His MMA balance is ten wins and no defeat. He won six times at k. o./t. k. o., four times per submission. His balance in freestyle wrestling matches is even more impressive - also undefeated, with 23 wins on his account. You can instantly recognize him by his shaved head, thick beard and cleft lip.
In the last four UFC matches, he has only taken an incredible four hits from his opponents, and he managed to finish them all in the first round. He earned 50,000 dollars for the best performance of the evening four times as a result of that. There's an enormous, unprecedented thirst in his eyes. Thirst for blood, but mainly for gold champion belt. The octagon is his territory, which he wants to conquer at all costs, and he doesn't care who he's up against. He comes across as if he was born in the ring.
Khamzat eliminates his opponents as if they've just left kindergarten and fought for the first time in their lives. He literally has the expression of a killer in the cage. When the referee starts the match, he looks like a wild, predator that wants to tear its prey to pieces. His MMA nickname Borz also symbolically refers to a wild animal - the wolf, as stated by Sportskeeda. He is not afraid of anyone or anything.
I want to be like Tyson, Mayweather or Ali
At the moment, he's aiming for the welterweight title, which is probably not that far out of reach. After the last winning match (October 30th), he cracked welterweight Top 10 by lifting up Chinese opponent Li Jingliang within first few seconds, throwing him mercilessly on the ground and torturing him until he passed out with his eyes closed.
Chimaev is astoundingly confident, but humble and extremely ambitious at the same time. "I'm like Einstein in this game. I've watched all the best fighters in the UFC and learned something from them, " he said after the last victory over Jingliang. At the same time, he revealed that the welterweight title would not be enough for him.
"I want to go up and don't stop, take these belts. Become like Mike Tyson, become like Floyd Mayweather, become like Muhammad Ali. These guys have always been the best fighters in this world and also the best businessmen in this world. In the fighting world," said Chimaev. "I'm a little bit crazy with this game, but if you're normal, you'll never gonna get to the top, you'll never be the crazy king," he added. His training partner - the experienced Alexander The Mauler Gustafsson, who fought three times for the belt of the semi-heavyweight UFC champion, can also help him on the way to the top.
I will fight Brock Lesnar
UFC President Dana White adores the motivated Chimaev and undoubtedly sees him as the biggest talent. At the same time, he repeatedly admitted that he enjoys how the Russian performs and what a spontaneous showman he is. "Yeah, he was shouting crazy shit at me the whole fight. I don't know why, but basically just saying: "I'm gonna fight everybody, I'll fight Brock Lesnar, I don't care who it is,"" White laughed at the last post-match press conference of the UFC 267 tournament.
Brock Lesnar is one of the biggest monsters that has ever fought in the UFC. At the same time, he's a former champion of the weight class up to 120 kilograms. Lesnar's match with Chimaev would definitely be amusing, although it will probably never take place, since the 44-year-old fighter ended his career few years ago and there's also the difference in terms of weight.
Either way, after joining UFC in July 2020, Khamzat Chimaev fought twice in two different weight categories (medium and heavy weight) over the course of ten days and immediately impressed everyone with quick finishes, subsequently declaring that he's ready to fight every week. However, the next match happened in two months (medium weight). In it he literally destroyed the experienced UFC veteran Gerald Meerschaert (who already had 44 MMA matches behind him) with a hardcore knockout. At the same time, it was also his first hit in the match. It only lasted about 17 seconds.
The war will leave a mark on you
Chimaev has already earned the nickname Khabib 2.0 in the media, which is a reference to the undefeated MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. He comes from Russia, has a similar appearance and is also a Muslim. However, their greatest similarity is in superb wrestling and grappling. Their takedowns are really hard to stop and the ground work is beyond excellent. Chimaev also has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Regardless, he can be seen as an increasingly complex wrestler who excels in all aspects.
But what did his journey look like before he got to this point and the world's largest organization? The fighter who later emigrated with his family to Sweden in 2011 for a better life told to ESPN MMA: "I grew up in a small village in Chechnya. It was tough time when I was young. I remember how it was after the war. I came into this world when it was World War and it was a hard time. Then there was war against Russia. Something like that will leave a mark on you. It's not like on TV - when you see it with your own eyes and experience it, you don't ever want it to happen again."
"I remember a few of my friends who died because they weren't able to handle grenades and such. We were just children," he added in an interview. He has been involved in wrestling since he was a child, just like everyone else around him. He had to be tough, because anyone who didn't train was called a chicken. He worked hard for years, and later he started winning his first medals.
Fighter since day one
Due to his temperament, Chimaev has often been involved in various fights outside the ring since he grew up in a harsh environment. That's how he got his nickname Borz. His brother came up with it. It was him who tried to guide him towards sports, and as Chimaev revealed in an interview with the ESPN MMA, if it weren't for his brother, he might have ended up in jail.
Chimaev started his first MMA matches in 2017 as an amateur. His first professional duel was a year later in May at the International Ring Fight Arena. He fought against Garda Olvem Sagen, whom he defeated on t. k. o. in the second round. After another match at Fight Club Rush, he moved to the Brave Combat Federation, where he played four matches before heading to the UFC.
You want to fly?
After the aforementioned victory over Gerald Meerschaert, there was a discussion about other potential rivals from the highest ranks to be matched with Chimaev. Among them were, for example, the legendary Demian Maia, a dangerous submission expert. In the end, however, he had to fight Leon Edwards in December 2020, who was in the top 5 of the welterweight division at the time .
However, the UFC's efforts to get Chimaev opponents from the top ten divisions at rocket speed seemed unfair to many wrestlers and too hasty and undeserved. On top of that, since the Chechen fighter doesn't mess around and tells anyone what he thinks at any time, he got into disputes with several UFC wrestlers over other topics through social networks. For example, he said that the current middleweight champion Israel Adasanya would be an easy opponent for him.
In the interview for Yahoo! Sports he said he did not know Chimaev at all and did not see any of his matches. However, he called him a rat, because of his cleft lip. "So he thinks I’m an easy fight? That’s interesting. Everybody does this when they’re coming up [just talking] casting a wide net. Keep casting," said Adesanya. Chimaev sent him a message saying, "What you said about me will cost you your belt." Later he also made a provoking status on Twitter, tagging Adesanya, saying: "You want to fly?"
Eight hours in prison
According to Sportbible in November 2020, one month before the scheduled match with Edwards, Chimaev said that if he sees Conor McGregor on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, something would happen. He did not specify what, but he did add that the UFC will have to hide him. According to the portal, Chimaev was probably being dead serious, having once traveled directly to Dublin, where the Irish fighter lives, in an effort to track him down and "beat him up".
Supposedly it was because of his disrespectful comments or McGregor's controversial attack on a bus full of fighters. Eventually, Chimaev was stopped by the police and detained in a cell for eight hours before being sent back to Sweden. "It is that time when he insulted Khabib. At that time, nobody knew who I was. I was thinking that I would catch him in the streets or at the gym and beat him up. This is what he deserved," Chimaev said according to Sportbible.
Allegedly his plan was to pretend to train with McGregor in preparation for the title match with Nurmagomedov at UFC 229. Then attack unexpectedly. Chimaev said multiple times that he no longer had any respect for the Irish fighter after his many controversial incidents outside the cage. This was despite the fact that he had once watched his career rise and acknowledged what he had done for the MMA.
"I watched his match with José Aldo. I had a night shift at the time, but I took 15 minutes off to see the match. I watched Conor make literally millions relatively easily, and I wanted to be like him. I'm also a fighter, so why can't I prove it? That was the night I discovered it within myself, " said Chimaev according to MMA Shorties.
Hospital stay and end of career
After various challenges, strong speeches and threats, first serious fall in the career of the Chechen fighter came. Rock bottom right away. It all started when the mentioned match with Leon Edwards, which was supposed to take place at the end of 2020, ended up not taking place. Edwwards became infected with covid first and Chimaev right after.
Iit was the deadly virus that had killed several million people in the world over the course of two years that came after Chimaev as the toughest opponent so far. According to the MMAFighting portal, the fighter had a severe course of the disease and complications with his lungs persisted for months after getting a positive test result. He had major breathing problems and had to be hospitalized several times. As he said, he thought he was going to die.
He announced on Twitter in March that he was ending his career. “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," Chimaev wrote.
According to UFC President White, the Chechen fighter's statement was too hasty and just too emotional. White identified Chimaev as trying to train while taking prescription medications to breathe and heal as the main reason for his condition. "He’s not supposed to be training, but you know, this guy’s a savage. He wants to fight like every f*cking weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting," said the UFC president confidently, according to MMAFighting. He turned out to be right after all.
They arranged a match via Instagram
Chimaev announced his return to the MMA world on Twitter in March this year, and it was clear that he was just as "hungry" again. He had no problem arranging a match directly via Instagram, despite the UFC matchmakers, with Darren Till, who is wrestling in the middle weight. Till is known for his strong British accent and also his sense of humor. He likes to create various memes on Instagram. The Instagram conversation between the two warriors was therefore in a rather humorous spirit.
Chimaev also had a big part in that, since he pulled out a knife and started to point it at the camera, while Till just typically laughed at him and asked what it was for. "Tell me a place, I'll fight you, bro. These days boys talk a lot, but we'll have to put up a real fight," Chimaev said during the call. "Yes, I will fight you. Of course, you know I will. But you know I could easily beat you. You know that,” Till said confidently with a smile on his face.
The fight didn't take place yet, but at least the fans were entertained. He was supposed to also fight with Neil Magny, but this match also didn't happen. Chimaev got the match with the mentioned Jingliang. The question remains who the Chechen wolf will go against next. It is certainly clear that this will be one of the top 10 welterweight divisions, so it will be a really big name.
Let's find out who the real gangster is
According to MMAFighting, it could be the 36-year-old Nate Diaz, a UFC veteran. He is known for his famous gangster image or for defeating Conor McGregor as one of the very few. Chimaev himself had already challenged him. "Hey, Diaz, let's do it, man. Lets go. It will be a real match. Let's find out who the real gangster is," he said. As MMAMania writes, he would also dare to go up against Nate's brother Nick Diaz. He also commented on another legendary wrestler, Jorge Masvidal, who defeated Diaz in a match for the so-called BMF belt (Baddest Motherfucker).
"I heard that Masvidal has a BMF belt. I'm going to take everything in the UFC. I am the UFC," Chimaev said, amusing with his humor again. Another potential rival for the Chechen is the cheeky American Colby Covington. He called Chimaev a "cumshot" (ejaculate), to which the warrior responded on Twitter with a photo of Covington falling to the ground in a bloody fight with Kamaru Usman, commenting: "You will never see me like this."
Chimaev has arranged an interesting wrestling match outside of the MMA. He is due to meet Jack Hermansson in Gothenburg on November 19th (who is also currently competing in the UFC middleweight). He is a fighter who defeated the Czech Carlos Vemol in 2015 and broke his arm.
He's beat the champion
But what does the current king of Kamaru's welterweight division, The Nigerian Nightmare Usman, have to say to Chimaev, whom no one has been able to defeat since his arrival in the UFC in 2015? "He’s doing great. I like it. I love all the hype that’s been there. Let’s all be honest, life is not fair. We learn that as kids. Life isn’t fair, so I know some guys get a faster push, some guys don’t. It is what it is. More power to him. He’s doing a phenomenal job with the position that he’s being put in. Hats off to him," Usman said of Chimaev's work in the UFC, according to MMAFighting.
Chimaev has already defeated the current champion in one category, which is the amount of Instagram followers. While Usman has 2.7 million fans, Chimaev has up to 2.8 million. Whether their paths will actually meet in the octagon is very questionable, since Usman recently admitted that he was considering ending his career. He would like to spend more time with his family. However, it's clear that this would be a match that every MMA fan would like to see.
One match away
And what do other competent people who either won the belt in the UFC or fought for it more than once say about the Chechen wrestler's chance to win the title? According to former middleweight champion Michael Bisping, we have not witnessed a more major rise of a wrestler since 2013, when McGregor exploded on the MMA scene. "He’s f****** out of his mind isn’t he, in the best possible way. I mean, what a terrifying person," Bisping told Talksport.
According to former wrestler and current UFC commentator, Chimaev also looks like a villain. He added that his performances must have gained Usman's attention, and he thinks Chimaev will fight him for the title one day, according to MMAJunkie. Another former middleweight wrestler and current MMA analyst Chael Sonnen said on his YouTube channel: "I am convinced that Chimaev is maximum one match away from the title battle." We will see if this is the case in the upcoming months.
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