After taking to Instagram to announce a (since deleted) surprise retirement, it seems that Khamzat Chimaev will carry on according to controversial Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
Chimaev's Octagon return has been repeatedly delayed due to the lingering effects of COVID. Chimaev's worries about his health led him to announce his retirement despite his young age of 26. In response, Kadyrov took to Instagram to respond and reiterate what Chimaev is going to do, after having Facetimed the undefeated prospect. MMAJunkie translated Kadyrov statement:
“Khamzat said that the recovery from illness is slow, and, trying to be honest and frank with the fans, he decided not to give them hope,” Kadyrov wrote (translation via Google’s online translator). “I told him that ALL the Chechen people were upset by this news. (I) reminded Chimaev that all our young people, whom he inspires, are pinning great hopes on his victory, but what can I say – MILLIONS OF FANS IN RUSSIA AND THE WORLD! And if fans need to wait for his return, then we will all look forward to his entry into the octagon with trepidation and patience.”
UFC president Dana White has also claimed Khamzat is not retiring. He spoke to MMAJunkie claiming the post was just an emotional one and he would be back in the Octagon once healthy.
“When he got here, the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty fucking steroid,” White told MMA Junkie. “So he’s on prednisone, and he’s supposed to be taking this thing and chilling, relaxing, and letting himself recover. He went in and fucking trained today, felt like sh*t, 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 fucking weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.”
While Chimaev has yet to declare it himself, the post announcing his retirement has since been deleted. The hot prospect may very well be back in the UFC cage soon.