MOSCOW, September 14, Andrey Vasilchin. On Wednesday, Khamzat Chimaev breathed life into a seemingly abandoned conflict with one of the main stars in the history of world sports. The undefeated Swede of Chechen origin did not appreciate the training of his future opponent Paulo Costa in Khabib Nurmagomedov's gym in Abu Dhabi and a little more than a month before returning to the octagon, he spoke unflatteringly about the former champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the lightweight category.
“Kibiba Hall, Mashallah, my Muslim brother helps everyone. Ask him to help, maybe he will help, but I’ll still crush you, Povlovich,” Chimaev posted on social networks.
It didn’t happen the day before other loud statements that are no longer related to sports… Some fans suggested that Chimaev began promoting the confrontation with the Brazilian (it will take place on October 21 at UFC 294 in the UAE). But others, on the contrary, felt that Kosta’s preparation for the superfight with Khabib seriously angered Khamzat.
This isn't the first time Borz (Chimaev's nickname – editor's note) has picked on the UFC Hall of Famer. Thus, a year ago, the Russian, who retired after a scandal at UFC 279, at which Chimaev failed the weigh-in, drew the Swede’s attention to the lack of Muslims in the unbeaten athlete’s team.
"If you are a Muslim, you need to surround yourself with good people, Muslims. They will tell you: “Don't do it.” Recently I watched Khamzat’s weigh-in, watched his weight, looked at the team… There are no Muslims around him, and this is very bad. After all, if you are a Muslim, you need good, strong people nearby. They'll say, “Go back and do it.” When you become famous and rich, when you gain power, and there are no people around you who will give advice, or you don’t listen to them, then something like this happens,” said the fighter.
And this is how Chimaev reacted to Eagle’s opinion.
“I ate too much tiramisu, so my fight with Tony Ferguson was canceled five times,” he noted.
A month after that attack, it flared up… Following the results of the October UFC tournament in Abu Dhabi, at which Islam Makhachev defeated Charles Oliveira and became the new champion in the lightweight division, a video shot near the octagon spread across the Internet. It shows Khabib's cousin Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Chimaev first shaking hands near the cage of the Etihad Arena, and then after a short conversation between the athletes a fight almost breaks out.
The athletes' entourage intervened in time, preventing a brawl from breaking out during Islam's joyful speech.
The scandal quickly faded away. The athletes were reconciled by the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, after which the teams of UFC fighters had a joint dinner after UFC 280.
“The incident that occurred when Islam had just won the belt does not make us any better. Not us, not Abubakar, not Khamzat, not Islam, not a single person. Already full of this. Everyone writes about it on the Internet and calls. Even a historical event for Islam faded into the background. We all met together. We talked. “We apologized to each other, hugged,” Nurmagomedov said in a video published on the TRUE GYM MMA YouTube channel.
Khabib also expressed the hope that such incidents will never happen again in the future and that the next reason to “get together” could be the gold on Khamzat’s waist… Such a meeting after Chimaev’s new attack is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine.
And where did it all start? In May 2021, Kadyrov broadcast live on his Instagram account (the activities of Meta (social networks Facebook and Instagram) are prohibited in Russia as extremist), during which the politician made a statement that caused a colossal resonance.
“Khabib is a good athlete, but he is a 100% UFC project. They have a good relationship with (organization head) Dana White. If someone misses a fight, he is immediately removed from the ranking, but Khabib is never. And he also knows that he is a UFC project… If he is not a project, then I have never seen our brother Khabib compete with the flag of Russia or Dagestan.”
Chimaev, in turn, came in the comments under the air and added even more fuel to the fire of the hot news feed:
““We’ll tear him up too, if he wants.”
However, Khabib calmly reacted to the words addressed to him. When asked about Kadyrov, Khabib referred to the right of any person to have his own opinion, but was not offended by Khamzat, since “I’ve never seen this man.”
““We talked to him a couple of times on the phone. Disappointment happens when you wait you don't get something from a person. I never expected anything from this person. He has the right, if he considers it necessary to write something like that, let him write it. All the questions are already for him. Should I go up to him to ask why he wrote something like that? “I think not. Should I?” — Orel was quoted by Sport24.