Within a matter of weeks, fighter Khamzat Chimaev has gone from making his UFC debut to being looked at as one of the fastest rising stars in the sport, and on Thursday, he attempted to raise his profile even more by revealing a “true story” about him flying to Ireland in 2018 to “beat up” Conor “Notorious” McGregor.
Chimaev made his first walk to the Octagon on July 15 when he fought John Philips at middleweight. The two athletes competed in the featured preliminary bout of UFC Fight Night 172, and Chimaev showed off his grappling prowess, dominating the match en route to a second-round submission.
Ten days later, the fighter made history. On July 25, Chimaev took on Rhys McKee at welterweight during the main card of UFC on ESPN 14, and he won by first-round TKO. By earning his second victory within 10 days, Chimaev broke the UFC record for earning two wins within the quickest turnaround.
On July 27, Chimaev made headlines when he called out Conor McGregor, and two days later, he took to Twitter to tell a story.
Chimaev tweeted: “True story I flew to Ireland before Khabib fight to beat up Conor [McGregor] for what he said about our honor but they would not let me in the country. You need big security [Conor McGregor] weak man.”
True story I flew to Ireland before Khabib fight to beat up Conor mcgregor for what he said about our honor but they would not let me in the country. You need big security @TheNotoriousMMA weak man
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) July 29, 2020
McGregor fought UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018 at UFC 229. During the build-up to the fight, Notorious made several comments aimed at Khabib’s religion and country. Chimaev was born in Chechnya, Russia, which is very close to Khabib’s home of Dagestan, Russia.
Chimaev Said Many Thought He Was Going to Ireland to Help Train McGregor for the Khabib Fight, but He Had Different Plans
In an interview with Adam Zubayraev, Chimaev said that he was going to “beat up” McGregor to “protect our pride and honor.” He said, as transcribed by MMA Mania,” Honestly speaking, I wanted to beat him up. Many people thought I was coming there to help him prepare for Khabib. I was coming there to protect our pride and honor. I was going there for all of us. If that would not have happened, I would have maybe thrown, I don’t know, some object.”
According to MMA Mania, Chimaev was detained for over eight hours when he landed in Ireland in 2018. He was released on the condition that he would fly back to Sweden where he lives and trains.
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Chimaev May Be Entering the Octagon Sooner Rather Than Later
According to UFC president Dana White, Chimaev is interested in returning to action very soon, specifically for a fight during UFC 252 on August 15.
In an interview ESPN, White said (via The Mac Life): “The guy is so dominant, so confident, wants to continue to fight every weekend, I love it. I love guys with that mentality. I love how talented this guy is.”
The UFC president continued, “We were sitting in here this morning trying to figure out what we think is next [for Chimaev]. If you ask this kid, he’s ready to fight Usman. You know what I mean? Is he ready for Usman? The way he looks, who knows? Maybe.”