One of the UFC‘s breakout stars in 2020 is getting closer to a return. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) has been dealing with complications from COVID-19 for months now. Chimaev had to pull out of two main event slots due to those complications.
The young star became so frustrated that he actually announced his retirement on Instagram. However, the UFC quickly came out and said that Chimaev was just emotional after attempting a premature return to training.Â
Since then, Chimaev has been listening to the doctors. His condition is getting better every day and now it appears that we are close to the light at the end of the tunnel. Chimaev’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, laid out the timeline for Chimaev’s UFC return.
Abdelaziz told ESPN, “He’s probably going to start training in the middle of April, and is looking to fight in the beginning of July. 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.”
The UFC was interested in the Neil Magny (24-8) fight prior to Chimaev’s retirement post. Magny is a force inside the top fifteen and he’s not an easy matchup for anyone. A fight with Magny would be a great test for the Chetchen star.
Will the UFC book this matchup?
Neil Magny is up for this fight assuming that Chimaev is ready to go. Magny told MMA Fighting, “I will fight him any day of the week, but thereâ€™s no way Iâ€™m putting my career on hold so that he could hopefully fight me come July.”
We last saw Magny in the UFC back in January. Magny took on Michael Chiesa and lost a decision in a main event on Fight Island. That loss to Chiesa snapped a three-fight win streak for The Haitian Sensation.
However, despite the loss, Magny is still ranked inside the UFC’s top ten at welterweight. This would be a really tough test for Chimaev, but it’s a fight that I’d love to see. These two have gone back and forth and the promotion should definitely look to book this if Chimaev can make it.