BREAKING: UFC books the return of Khamzat Chimaev against Li Jingliang

The UFC has finalized the return of Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Octagon Bet was the first to report that the promotion has finalized a matchup between Chimaev and top 15 welterweight Li Jingliang (18-6).

The matchup is set to take place at UFC 267 on October 30th. This is a huge spot for “The Leech”. The last time we saw Li was when he fought Santiago Ponzinibbio back in January. Li scored a first round knockout in that fight.

That was a massive feather in the cap for Li who derailed the hype train of Ponzinibbio. Now, Li is going to be tasked with taking out another UFC hype train in Khamzat Chimaev.

Li has been with the UFC since 2014. During that time, he’s gone 9-4 and he’s been in there with some really solid welterweights. He’s 4-1 in his last five fights with the lone loss coming against top ten contender Neil Magny.

UFC Return for Chimaev

UFC 267 will mark the highly anticipated return of Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev took the combat sports world by storm in 2020 and he looked to be on the fast track. The Chechen star made his UFC debut on Fight Island.

Chimaev won two fights in ten days and he did so in extremely dominant fashion. He made his debut at middleweight but fought his second fight at his natural weight class of 170 pounds.

After those two wins, the UFC booked him against middleweight veteran Gerald Meerschaert. It was supposed to be the first real test for Chimaev, but he made it look easy. After showing off his dominant wrestling in his first two fights, Chimaev showed his striking and power off.

Chimaev knocked Meerschaert out in just 17 seconds to pick up his third UFC win. From there, Chimaev was booked against top contender Leon Edwards for a headliner in December. Chimaev went from an unknown to potentially fighting in a title eliminator.

However, that fight fell through after both men came down with COVID-19. Chimaev had a very difficult time with COVID and contemplated retirement. However, he’s back to 100% and he has a big fight in front of him at UFC 267.

UFC attempted to make Luke Rockhold – Khamzat Chimaev; Chimaev declined the fight

Luke Rockhold

Today we learned that the UFC was trying to book a major main event for August. Per Ariel Helwani, the promotion was trying to book a middleweight main event between former champion Luke Rockhold (16-5) and Khamzat Chimaev (9-0).

The main event would have taken place at a UFC Fight Night on August 28th. Rockhold confirmed the news with Helwani and also said that the promotion offered the two a three-round fight at UFC 265.

According to the former UFC middleweight champion, Khamzat Chimaev declined both fights while Rockhold accepted both. Rockhold has been looking to book his return and he saw a fight with Chimaev as a way to get his name back out there in a big way.

Khamzat Chimaev is also looking to book his return after missing the last year due to complications from COVID-19. The UFC has been meeting with Chimaev about his return and they are working on fights for him now.

The fight with Rockhold fell through due to Chimaev’s desire to fight at 170 pounds. So far in three fights, two fights have been at middleweight and one has been at welterweight for Chimaev. However, Chimaev has made it known to UFC officials that he plans on staying at 170.

What does the UFC do?

For now, the promotion will go right back to work on booking these two a fight. Rockhold has told the UFC that he wants a top name at 185 pounds. In recent interviews, Rockhold has said that he’s accepted multiple fights, but nothing has materialized.

There are some middleweight contests coming up and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Rockhold get booked soon. He’s hoping to fight by the end of the summer and I think the UFC will find him a good opponent for his return.

Khamzat Chimaev took off in 2020 and was a potential win over Leon Edwards in December away from earning himself a quick UFC title shot. However, COVID cancelled his fight with Edwards and we haven’t seen Chimaev since. The word is that a fight for Chimaev is close to coming together and I would expect a top fifteen welterweight.

Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC Return is Imminent

The UFC prospect that generated the most buzz in 2020 is getting ready to return. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) is inching closer and closer to making his way back inside the octagon and he’s heading to Las Vegas this week to meet with the UFC.

Chimaev came onto the scene last July when he made his UFC debut on Fight Island. Chimaev won two fights in ten days and he did it in extremely dominating fashion. He also did it in two separate weight classes.

Then, in August, he fought Gerald Meerschaert and knocked him out with the first punch he through. Chimaev was being fast-tracked towards the top of the UFC‘s welterweight division. However, it became tough to get anyone to take a fight against him.

Ultimately, he landed a main event slot against top contender Leon Edwards. The two were set to meet in December, however, Edwards had to pull out due to COVID. They rescheduled the fight two more times, but Chimaev’s own battle with COVID scrapped those two fights.

Chimaev’s battle with COVID was so tough that he hinted at retiring from the UFC altogether. But, the promotion got him the medical help he needed and he’s been training like a mad man ever since. Dana White said on Mike Swick’s Podcast this week that he’s scheduled to meet with Chimaev regarding his return.

Who should the UFC pair him with?

The UFC is going to give Chimaev a quality opponent in his next fight. To me, there’s one guy who fits the bill and he’s already been having back-and-forth with Chimaev. That man is the Haitian Sensation, Neil Magny (25-8).

Magny is coming off of a big win over Neil Magny last month. When the UFC was having a hard time finding Chimaev an opponent, Magny was the one guy who was very vocal about fighting Chimaev.

However, at the time, the UFC wanted to give Chimaev someone with a little more behind their name. Now that the Chimaev momentum has slowed down, I think it’s a perfect test to have him fight Magny. A fight with Magny will tell us a ton about how good Khamzat Chimaev really is.

After another solid win at UFC Vegas 26, what’s next for Neil Magny?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 26, we saw a big welterweight contest between Neil Magny (25-8) and Geoff Neal (13-4). These two were originally supposed to fight last year, but Neal had to pull out due to some health issues.

2020 was a great year for Neil Magny who returned after a USADA issue. Magny went a perfect 3-0 inside the octagon with a big win over former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.

On the heels of those three wins, Magny had a main event slot booked against Michael Chiesa back in January. Chiesa halted all of the Magny momentum and was able to pickup the decision win.

This matchup at UFC Vegas 26 was a big opportunity for Magny to shake off that loss and get back on track. To be honest, I was worried about how Magny would do with someone like Geoff Neal.

Geoff Neal is great about pressuring his opponents and throwing a ton of heat in his shots. Historically, those type of fighters have given Neil Magny problems. However, Neal proved to be no problem for Magny on Saturday night.

Magny was able to work his jab and keep Neal at distance from landing anything major. Ultimately, Magny walked away with a clean decision victory at UFC Vegas 26 and he’s right back on track.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 26?

With the victory on Saturday, Magny has risen to eighth in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. With that ranking, it’s time for Magny to get a shot against someone near or around the top five.

However, there is one name that could show up outside the top ten. That name is Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev has been vocal about wanting to fight Magny and Magny has been vocal about wanting to fight Chimaev.

Chimeav is set to return sometime this summer and if Magny wants to fight, the UFC will definitely make that matchup happen. Another name that could make sense for Magny is Jorge Masvidal (35-15).

I know that might throw some people off, but at the end of the day, Masvidal is ranked seventh currently. Only one spot ahead of Magny and he’s coming off of a brutal knockout loss. A fight with Magny could be good for all parties involved.

The other opponent which would make a lot of sense is Vicente Luque (20-7-1). Luque has won three and a row and is currently ranked fifth in the welterweight division. A fight between the two would generate a new top contender for the UFC.

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.