Khamzat Chimaev reveals fall-out with Khabib was sparked by misjudged comment that he ‘would smash’ Dagestani and insists he ‘loves’ retired former champion
- Khamzat Chimaev’s stock was soaring before he was struck down by Covid-19
- He secured three dominant wins in succession last year on Fight Island
- Chimaev has rocky relationship with Khabib Nurmagomedov and revealed why
Khamzat Chimaev has revealed his regret at falling out with Khabib Nurmagomedov over a misunderstanding.
The Chechen fighter was making waves last year after increasing his undefeated record with dominant victories in his first three UFC encounters on Fight Island.
He called out every top name under the sun and it ended up causing tension between him and Khabib, who he has always admired.
Khamzat Chimaev (right) said his tension with Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) was from a misunderstanding on social media
Chimaev burst onto the scene in the UFC last year with three dominant wins
Chimaev explained why they had a strained relationship, telling Frontkick: ‘Some guy wrote something about me like, “Khabib is going to smash you,” and I answered this guy, but it was my wrong because I answer to this bulls**t guy that nobody knows.
‘I answered him if he wants to smash me, I’m going to smash him, too. (I answered) like this because I’m a real man and I’m going to answer like that.
‘If somebody says he’ll smash you, what do you want me to say?’
He went on: ‘Someone saying, “Khabib going to smash you” and in my head, if somebody says he’s going to smash you, of course I’m going to answer, “Nobody is going to smash me. I’m going to smash everybody.”‘
‘If you’re a real man, you have to think like that, (unless) you’re some chicken you can’t stay up.
‘Sometimes you forget you’re famous, and I become famous like one day before, and still sometimes and you wake up and think it’s normal life for you.’
UFC boss Dana White (right) set up a fight v Leon Edwards but it was cancelled due to Covid-19
Far from feeling any kind of animosity towards Khabib, Chimaev has always been a huge admirer.
He added: ‘People think I hate him, but I love him because he’s Muslim. I’m Muslim. It’s like the same like he comes from some village like me, same country.
‘Small republic like Chechnya, Dagestan like this is still the same. I have a lot of brothers from Dagestan, and yeah, I’m Muslim, he’s Muslim – alhamdulillah.’
Chimaev suffered horribly with Covid and feared he might be forced to retire after contracting the illness towards the end of last year.
But he has fought his way back to fitness and will take on China’s Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in October.
Chimaev set a record for the fastest consecutive wins in UFC history across 10 days last year