Russian-born UFC star Khamzat Chimaev has a new target in mind for his return this summer.
“Borz” is currently recovering from his months-long battle with effects from COVID-19. Chimaev pulled out of two fights this year, in January and March, due to ailments including extreme fatigue and lung issues. The last time he fought was in September when he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert seconds into their UFC Vegas 11 bout.
And it sounds like Chimaev is ready to get back to work, aiming for a fight in August.
“If you are sick, you cannot think about [a] fight,” Chimaev said in a recent interview with ESPN. “I was thinking, ‘One month, sick. Then still, two months. When am I going to be finished with this s***?’ I’m healthy now, hungry again. I want to get back and smash somebody and make money.”
And in terms of an opponent, he appears to have set his gaze on MMA legend Nick Diaz. UFC president Dana White revealed last weekend that Diaz wants to compete and that they were meeting to discuss his fighting future.
Diaz, who is the older brother of UFC superstar Nate Diaz, last competed in 2015.
“@nickdiaz209 surprise surprise i’m coming for you #209,” Chimaev wrote on Instagram Monday afternoon.
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Chimaev Said the Fight With Diaz is ‘Perfect’ for Him
Chimaev recently spoke with MMA Junkie about fighting Diaz. Borz revealed that he watched Diaz as a child and he is ready to find out who “the real gangster” is between himself and Diaz.
“I want to fight with him,” Chimaev said via the outlet. “That will be good. I watched his fight when I was a kid, now I’m going to fight with him. Perfect for me. I like it. I want to see who is the real gangster. I think he is a real gangster in this sport, but we’ll see.”
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Chimaev Gave Massive Props to Kamaru Usman, Plans to Fight Him Next Year
Borz’s main goal is still to win UFC gold and by defeating a name like Diaz, he will likely take a step toward it. During his interview with the outlet, Chimaev praised welterweight champ Kamaru Usman’s UFC 261 performance against Jorge Masvidal. Usman knocked out Masvidal in the second round, successfully defending his belt for the fourth time.
Chimaev said that he believes Usman is the best 170-pounder in the world. And he hopes to challenge “The Nigerian Nightmare” for the belt next year.
“Usman looks good,” Chimaev said. “Now I can say this: In my weight class, he is the best fighter in the world. … Next year, he have to wait for me. I understand I have to fight with somebody (first), and I always say it doesn’t matter for me who is against me. I’m going to go for everybody.”