The top-ranked welterweight contender was on the way to visit his native country Chechnya. He had his passport confiscated in St. Petersburg, Russia, which has been enlisting soldiers for the war against Ukraine.
He was planning to proceed to Chechnya from there to visit his family but could no longer leave the country.
His team is currently trying to get the Swedish government to help them bring him back. He was scheduled to attend the premiere of the film “O Belta Preta – A Verdadeira História de Fernando Tererê” in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this week but may not be able to.
In the following updates, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reported that Chimaev’s manager dismissed the claims, writing, “I just spoke to Khamzat Chimaev’s (@KChimaev) manager Majdi Shammas, who told me reports of Khamzat being stuck in Russia with a revoked passport are not true. Khamzat is in Russia, but there are ‘no problems’ with any travel restrictions according to Shammas.”
Chimaev Sent Mixed Signals About His Future
Chimaev is coming off a win over Kevin Holland at UFC 279 last month. He was originally lined up to face Nate Diaz in the headlining match of the card but needed to get his opponents shuffled after coming in seven and a half pounds over the agreed weight limit. He went into fight week as a fan favorite but became one of the most antagonistic figures in the sport.
‘Borz’ put in another dominant performance to finish Holland by submission in the opening round of the contest without absorbing a single significant strike, a feat he achieved for the fourth time in the promotion. Following his 12th straight pro win, Chimaev turned heel and seemed to have adapted to the new ‘supervillain’ persona.
After the weight miss, Chimaev’s future in the 170-pound division looked uncertain. UFC president Dana White stated that it would ‘make sense’ for Chimaev to move up to middleweight.
Despite initially being hesitant about the idea, Chimaev hinted at going up a weight class in a tweet: “185.”
He followed up with another message backtracking on his earlier note, challenging former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington, writing, “@ColbyCovMMA next.”
Bo Nickal Wants To Fight Chimaev
Bo Nickal joined the UFC as one of the most hyped prospects last week. His commanding victory over Donovan Beard on “Dana White’s Contender Series” earned him the contract, with White writing on his notes, “god damn.” Nickal is a decorated wrestler who received backing from the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Dustin Poirier, and head coach Mike Brown of the American Top Team even before he took to the octagon.
He called out Chimaev for a fight and believes he got the skills to come out on top.
“What’s he going to do to me?” Nickal said via MMA Fighting. “Is he going to take me down? No. Is he’s going to submit me? No. Does he have a chance to knock me out? I guess, yeah, there’s a chance he knocks me out. But reality, more than likely what will happen is I’m going to drag him down to the ground, do exactly what he does to all these strikers and I’m going to do it to him.
“Because I’m a real grappler, I come from real wrestling. The exact thing that he’s doing to guys like Kevin Holland and Li [Jingliang], that’s what I’m going to do to him.”