UFC: Khamzat Chimaev – Neil Magny in July?

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. 

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 there’s no way I’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.

UFC: Dana White says Khamzat Chimaev was ’emotional’ after training; clarifies he’s not retired

UFC, Dana White

It appears that we haven’t seen the last of Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) in the UFC. Well, at least that is what Dana White is saying. Out of no where yesterday, Khamzat Chimaev took to Instagram to say that he’s walking away from the sport. 

This was not a Conor McGregor retirement post or even the situation that’s happening with Khabib Nurmagomedov. This situation is completely different and it all ties back to the health of Khamzat Chimaev.

The UFC‘s budding star has been dealing with symptoms from COVID for months now. Twice he had to pull out of a fight against Leon Edwards due to the lingering impact of COVID on his lungs.

Chimaev was not getting proper medical treatment so the UFC flew him to the United States to get treated this week. Things were looking up for Chimaev who also has been going back and forth with Neil Magny on social media.

Chimaev’s post took everyone by surprise last night. All outlets started flooding the UFC asking for clarification behind The Russian’s post. Dana White spoke to MMA Junkie last night where he cleared the air on what happened with Chimaev.

UFC return in June?

White said, “When he got here, the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty f*cking steroid. 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 f*cking 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 f*cking weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.”

White also went on to say that the UFC is targeting a June return for Chimaev which was the plan all along. Chimaev seems like the kind of guy who just wants to get back on the horse. However, it’s clear that he needs to take some time away with the symptoms he has.

I can understand the frustration of wanting to compete again. However, his health should come first. As of now, the UFC is still hoping to put Chimaev and Magny together in June. However, it will all come down to how Chimaev responds to this treatment over the next month.

BREAKING: UFC’s Khamzat Chimaev seemingly retires via Instagram post

One of the brightest young stars in the UFC might be calling it a career. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) took to Instagram this evening and made a post where he seemingly announced his retirement from the sport.

Just today, we posted an article about Chimaev’s next potential opponent. Chimaev and Neil Magny have been going back and forth recently and the UFC was working on a potential matchup for June.

However, Chimaev has been struggling mightily with complications from COVID-19. Chimaev’s bout with COVID has seen his matchup with Leon Edwards cancelled twice. The UFC just flew Chimaev out to Las Vegas to get the medical treatment that he needed.

However, it now is not looking promising regarding Chimaev’s fighting future. The post was in Russian and we used a translation application to translate the UFC‘s stars post.

“I want to say thank you to everyone for their support in my path in this sport. I think I’m done, yes, I know that I didn’t take the belt, but this is not the most important victory in this life, it may upset you, but my heart and body tell me everything. I want to say a huge thank you to my team,” Chimaev said.

Has the UFC star retired?

I think it’s important to take a step back until we hear from the UFC. Until we hear an official announcement from the promotion or Dana White, let’s take this announcement with a grain of salt.

However, it’s no secret that Chimaev has had a tough battle over the last couple of months. His battle with COVID hasn’t allowed him to train and at one point, Chimaev has said that he thought he was going to die.

Khamzat Chimaev made his UFC debut back on the promotion’s first trip to Fight Island. From the moment he debuted, Chimaev took the UFC by storm. The promotion was putting him on the fast track to a title shot. However, everything was completely thrown off by COVID.

This story is developing and we will continue to follow up when there’s updates. As of now, there’s still been no word from the promotion.

UFC Matchmaker: Khamzat Chimaev – Neil Magny

One of the biggest stories in the UFC during 2020 was the rise of Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev made his debut on Fight Island in July and dominated his way to a victory. Just ten days after his debut, Chimaev fought again on Fight Island.

This time, Chimaev fought at his natural weight class of 170 pounds. Chimaev took on prospect Rhys McKee and completely dominated him as well. Two incredibly dominant UFC victories in the span of ten days and the hype train was off and running.

From there, Chimaev went back to 185 pounds and fought Gerald Meerschaert. Meerschaert had been in there with some really tough guys and was supposed to test Chimaev. After dominating his first two fights with his wrestling, Chimaev showed off his striking against Meerschaert.

Just 17 seconds into the first round, Khamzat Chimaev knocked Gerald Meerschaert out. The UFC then had trouble getting Chimaev a fight. Incredibly, the promotion settled on an opponent and it was the third ranked welterweight in the world, Leon Edwards (18-3).

The matchup was scheduled for December. However, Edwards came down with COVID and the fight was cancelled. The UFC tried rebooking the fight two more times, however, Chimaev’s own troubles with COVID cancelled the fight both times.

Chimaev was recently flown to the US for medical care due to his complications from COVID. The UFC is now looking at a June return for Chimaev who is currently ranked fifteenth in the welterweight division. I believe they are already sizing up the perfect opponent for Chimaev.

UFC booking Chimaev – Magny?

While the UFC was looking for an opponent for Chimaev in 2020, there was one welterweight who was vocal about his desire to fight him. That welterweight was Neil Magny (24-8). The Haitian Sensation has been very vocal about wanting to fight Chimaev for a while now.

The two have recently gone back and forth on social media which has added fuel to the fire. The UFC is going to need an opponent for Chimaev to come back to and there aren’t many that are better for him that Magny.

Magny had a very good 2020 going 3-0. He is coming off of a loss to Michael Chiesa, however, he’s still a fixture in the UFC’s top 15 at welterweight. The fight makes sense from a rankings perspective and there’s heat there. In reality, this was probably a more logical next step for Chimaev anyway.

BREAKING: UFC books Leon Edwards – Belal Muhammad

Leon Edwards

The UFC has finally found an opponent for Leon Edwards (18-3). After Khamzat Chimaev had to pull out of their fight again last week, the promotion has been in a scramble to find a replacement for Chimaev.

Dana White said that the UFC was interested in having Colby Covington (16-2) face Edwards. However, Covington has said that he wasn’t interested in fighting Edwards. The promotion then switched gears to other potential matchups in the welterweight division.

Edwards has been anxious and just wants to get back inside the octagon. Well, the UFC has found a willing opponent and Edwards has accepted. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to report that Belal Muhammad (18-3) will be stepping up to take on Leon Edwards.

Muhammad just competed last weekend at UFC 258. but it was a clean win and he took no damage. Muhammad is not wanting to waste any time and he jumped at the opportunity to take on Leon Edwards next month.

The fight will still take place on the original date that Edwards was booked which is March 13th. The fight will also remain a five round main event which is what Edwards was planning on all along.

Big implications in the UFC’s welterweight division

Since 2017, Muhammad is 8-1 in the UFC. His lone loss came against Geoff Neal and that was at the beginning of 2019. Since that loss, Muhammad has gone 4-0 and he’s looked incredibly impressive in those fights.

Muhammad’s striking looked sensational last weekend, but it was his pressure and pace that really stood out. You can be sure that he’s not going to make things easy on Leon Edwards when the two fight next month.

This will be the first fight for Leon Edwards since July of 2019. Edwards has been going crazy trying to get back into action, however, the UFC has struggled in getting him a fight that wouldn’t fall through. Hopefully this one stays together and Edwards gets to make the walk next month.

It will be very interesting to watch how Edwards looks in this first fight back. Will ring rust play a factor here or will he come out looking better than ever? This is a dangerous fight against a guy with a lot of momentum. Should he win, a UFC title shot could be next for Leon Edwards.

UFC: With Chimaev out, Leon Edwards calls for a fight with Nate Diaz

Leon Edwards

Yesterday, we found out that the UFC headliner between Leon Edwards (18-3) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) is off. The headliner was scheduled to take place on March 13th. This is the third time that the fight has fallen through.

After the first two cancellations, the UFC made it clear that they wanted to keep that fight together. However, after this third cancellation, the promotion is moving on from this matchup for now. The promotion is still hoping to keep Edwards in the main event on March 13th.

Since the news broke yesterday, UFC match makers have been trying to get Edwards a new fight. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani said this morning that Edwards’ reps have said they are interested in only three fighters. Those three fighters are Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and Nate Diaz (20-12).

The UFC is currently working on booking Covington – Masvidal so the likelihood of one of them taking the fight is low. Given the status of all the other top contenders in the division, there isn’t a clear opponent for Edwards at this time.

Edwards took to Twitter this morning to vocalize who he wants to fight next. Edwards made it very clear that he wants to face Stockton’s Nate Diaz on March 13th.

Will the UFC make this fight?

In reality, there’s actually a high probability that the UFC attempts to make this fight. This week, Diaz came out and said that he wanted to fight Charles Oliveira or Dustin Poirier at 170 pounds. He said he’s only interested in fighting winners and he wants to fight at welterweight.

Well, Charles Oliveira said yesterday that he has no interest in fighting Diaz. It’s also been reported that the UFC is heading down the path of booking the trilogy between Poirier and Conor McGregor. That takes away both of the callouts for Nate Diaz.

That’s where Leon Edwards enters the equation perfectly. Edwards is on an eight-fight win streak and he’s currently ranked third in the welterweight division. If Diaz is interested in making his return at 170 pounds and against a winner, it doesn’t get much better than Leon Edwards.

Both of these top UFC fighters need a fight and neither one of them have a clear next opponent. The writing is on the wall to make this matchup. If this fight does get made, I would expect it to happen sooner than later. This will definitely be a situation to follow in the coming days.

 

BREAKING: Khamzat Chimaev – Leon Edwards is off again; UFC will move on from matchup

The UFC can’t seem to catch a break with this fight. The highly anticipated matchup between Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) and Leon Edwards (18-3) is off again. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the story this evening.

Okamoto stated that UFC president Dana White said that Khamzat Chimaev is still dealing with lingering symptoms of COVID-19. Because of these symptoms, Chimaev is not able to properly train and he has been forced to pull out of the fight.

Originally, the UFC booked these two as the headliner for the December 19th fight night. However, Edwards came down with COVID and the promotion had to postpone the fight. Then they rescheduled the fight for January 20th.

However, this time it was Chimaev who came down with COVID and the fight was cancelled a second time. Now, the UFC has been forced to cancel this matchup for the third time and this will be the final time.

White told Okamoto that the promotion will not attempt to book this fight again. Instead, they will move forward with finding Leon Edwards a new opponent. There is the possibility that Edwards moves dates as well.

UFC’s options for Edwards

This is a huge blow for the UFC’s welterweight division. This fight had a ton of hype behind it and it was good business for the promotion either way. If Edwards won, he would get the push he needed to validate his top contender status.

If Chimaev was able to win, the UFC would have their newest superstar right in title contention. However, the dream of this fight is officially dead, for now. The question then becomes, who does Leon Edwards fight?

Given the timeline, it’s possible that Leon Edwards gets the next shot at the title. Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns are fighting this weekend for the title. In theory, the Colby Covington – Jorge Masvidal fight should produce the top contender. However, that fight won’t take place anytime soon.

If someone wins this weekend and wants to turn around quickly, Edwards might finally get his UFC title shot. The only other fighter who is available anytime soon would be Michael Chiesa (18-4). However, I’m not sure Edwards would want that fight. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

UFC rebooks headliner between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards

Today is one of the first days the UFC is back on Fight Island and they kicked it off with a bang. Dana White confirmed with MMA Junkie this morning that the promotion has rebooked Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) – Leon Edwards (18-3).

This will be the third time that the UFC is attempting to book this fight. The two will now headline the March 13th Fight Night. March is starting to look like it’s going to be a massive month for the UFC.

As mentioned, this is the third time that this fight is booked. Originally, this fight was supposed to take place in December. However, Edwards tested positive for COVID and the fight was scrapped.

Then the UFC rebooked the fight for the January 20th card. Chimaev also came down with COVID and he was not able to make the date. So, the promotion scrapped the fight for a second time.

There was brief discussions about keeping Edwards on next week’s card, however, the UFC really wanted to keep the two paired. As a result, they started working on new potential dates and landed on March 13th.

UFC Title Eliminator

A few months ago, I would have bet my house that the UFC title eliminator at welterweight would have been Colby Covington (16-2) – Jorge Masvidal (35-14). The promotion is still working on that fight, however, it hasn’t been booked.

The next welterweight title fight takes place at UFC 258 in February. Given the timeline of this new Chimaev – Edwards headliner, I believe that the winner will likely be the next in line for the welterweight championship.

Chimaev has taken the UFC by storm since his debut in July on Fight Island. Three incredibly dominant performances have turned him into a superstar. If he’s able to defeat Edwards, his stock is going to be astronomically high.

However, that’s not going to be an easy task. While not the sexiest name in the division, Edwards has won an incredible eight-straight at welterweight. Should he derail the hype train of Chimaev, there’s no denying him of a title shot. I’m pumped for this one.

Did the UFC make a mistake bumping Leon Edwards from UFC Fight Island 8?

Leon Edwards

UFC Fight Island 8 was supposed to feature the much anticipated welterweight matchup between Leon Edwards (18-3) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). While their rankings wouldn’t suggest it, it was the perfect fight for both men.

Edwards is ranked third while Chimaev is ranked 15th. However, Chimaev has become a massive star and Edwards need to get the rub from someone with so much hype. In my opinion, it would have been good either way for the UFC.

The fight was originally supposed to take place in December, but it was scrapped after Edwards tested positive for COVID. They rescheduled for Fight Island 8, but that was cancelled after Chimaev couldn’t train properly after he came down with COVID.

The UFC kicked the tires with leaving Edwards on the card. “Rocky” hasn’t fought since July of 2019. He’s riding a eight-fight winning streak and he’s clearly one of the best fighters in the world.

At this point, Edwards just needs to get back in the octagon. However, the UFC decided to take him off the card and try to book the Chimaev fight a third time. While I love that matchup, did the promotion make a mistake?

Did the UFC make a mistake?

The UFC‘s reasoning for trying to rebook the fight is simply they feel it’s a fight that everyone wants to see. Another thing that goes into it is the fight that the promotion has had a helluva time booking either man for a fight.

It seemed nobody wanted to fight either Chimaev or Edwards outside of Neil Magny (24-7). Magny offered to face Chimaev after Edwards fell out then he said he would fight Edwards in the main event of UFC Fight Island 8.

Of course, Magny is already scheduled to take on Michael Chiesa (17-4). Edwards told the promotion that he would fight either Chiesa or Magny if it meant that he could stay on the card since he hasn’t fought in so long.

In the end, the UFC said no. They want to keep the potential matchup with Chimaev together. However, while I definitely see their reasoning, I can’t say that I agree with it. I think they should have kept Edwards on the card.

Magny and Chiesa is now the main event and Chiesa is already promising it’s not going to be exciting. Not really want you want in your second main event of the year. The slot is great for both men, but it’s not a fight that promises action.

More importantly, Leon Edwards just needs to fight. We don’t know when Chimaev will be ready, but Edwards is pushing two years without a fight in the UFC. I know you don’t want to lose the Chimaev fight, but I think it was a mistake to bump Edwards from that slot next Wednesday.

2021 UFC Breakthrough Candidates

UFC, Dana White

This past year, the UFC has seen a few fighters come out of no where and become household names. The two names that stick out the most are Kevin Holland (21-5) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0).

Holland was already with the UFC when the year got started. However, Holland was just 3-2 in his first five fights. He came into 2020 coming off of a submission loss to Brendan Allen, but he showed in 2020 how special he could be.

Holland went a perfect 5-0 in 2020 with four finishes including one over Jacare Souza at UFC 256. Kevin Holland was a very popular pick for fighter of the year and he was our breakout fighter of the year.

Nobody really knew who Khamzat Chimaev was when 2020 started. There was some hype surrounding him in the Middle East, but to the mainstream public, nobody really knew who he was.

Chimaev made his UFC debut on Fight Island in July. He ended up fighting twice in ten days scoring two finishes in extremely dominant fashion. Chimaev followed those performances up with a knockout over Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds in September.

Khamzat Chimaev has gone from unknown to a superstar in just a few months. He was supposed to face Leon Edwards in January, but that fight has been pushed back due to Chimaev’s recovery since coming down with COVID-19.

2021 UFC Breakthrough Prospects

The mixed martial arts world and even the mainstream public knows Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland after 2020. So who are some candidates for breakthrough fighters in the UFC as we enter 2021?

One of the guys I have my eyes on is bantamweight, Jack Shore (13-0). The bantamweight from Wales has fought twice in the UFC and he’s scored two submissions wins. Out of his 13 professional wins, only one has gone to the scorecards.

He last fought back in July on Fight Island. That night, Shore took on Aaron Phillips and he used his superior grappling to dominate the fight. Shore has all the makings for a contender who can breakthrough for the UFC in 2021.

The next guy I have my eyes on is another fighter from Wales. This one is the two-division Cage Warriors champion, Mason Jones (10-0). Jones is scheduled to make his UFC debut on January 20th against Mike Davis (8-2).

There is a lot of hype surrounding Mason Jones. The last two-division Cage Warriors champion to breakthrough in UFC is Conor McGregor. Thus, you can see why a lot of people are interested in this young man.

Jones is just 25 years old, but he is incredibly talented. The UFC is not giving him a layup in his first fight however. Mike Davis is a very tough opponent who’s only two losses have come to Gilbert Burns and Sodiq Yusuff.

Ranked Fighters to Watch

While Jones and Shore are my two prospects that I’m watching, there are a couple of more established fighters I have my eyes on as we enter 2021. One of those fighters being Jimmy Crute (12-1).

The Australian light heavyweight is currently ranked 12th in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He has dynamite in his hands and he’s very good on the ground. He bounced back from his first loss in 2019 to score two first round finishes in 2020.

Crute is just 24 years old and looks incredibly gifted. I would not be shocked to see Crute inching towards the top five once 2021 is over. The other fighter I have my eyes on is Diego Ferreira (17-2).

Okay, I’ll admit it, Ferreira is 35 years old and he’s been with the UFC for a long time. He doesn’t really fit in with the other three fighters I’ve listed so far. However, I have him on this list for a reason.

Ferreira is a guy that seems to get lost when folks talk about the lightweight division. The most exciting division in the sport is incredibly stacked. It’s so stacked that people forget that Ferreira is on a six-fight winning streak in the UFC.

He last fought in January and submitted Anthony Pettis in the second round. Ferreira is taking on Beneil Dariush (19-4-1) in February where he will look to avenge his first career loss. Outside of Dariush, the only man to defeat Ferreira inside the octagon is Dustin Poirier.

These are four fighters that I truly believe can establish themselves in the UFC this year. When I say establish, I mean become household names to not just the MMA world, but the general public. Keep your eyes on these fighters in 2021.