The fighter around whom perhaps the biggest "hype" in 2020 was raised is finally returning to fighting. Khamzat Chimaev (9-0, 3-0 UFC) made his debut for the world’s strongest organization in July last year.
In just two months, he had done as many as three fights, and only John Phillips managed to make it to the second round in Khamzat’s debut fight. Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert were knocked out in the first round.
Chimaev then claimed he wanted to fight as often as possible, even every weekend if possible (of course not, op.a.), but a number of problems prevented him from making his fourth appearance for the UFC. He is scheduled to perform on October 30, and his opponent will be Chinese welterweight Li Jingliang, currently the 12th-ranked fighter in the UFC welterweight category.
As many as three times the fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards was canceled. For the first time, Edwards was stopped by a coronavirus while the remaining two times a Chechen fighter with a Swedish passport had to cancel for the same reasons.
Chimaev suffered quite severe consequences after contracting COVID and even announced in early March that he was retiring. However, it was a hasty reaction and these allegations were quickly refuted. It seems that the new favorite of the Chechen leader Kadyrov is finally ready to return, and the most difficult exam so far awaits him.
Li Jingliang (18-6-0, 10-4 UFC) is an extremely dangerous fighter, and several renowned names have felt his strength. The Chinese fighter has won two of the last three fights and ended up knocking out Santiago Ponzinibbi and Eiize Zaleski dos Santos.
Neil Magny proved to be too big a bite and Jingliang was defeated by a unanimous decision of the referees. As many as seven times the Chinese have won by knockout under the auspices of the UFC and it is definitely a tough exam for the 27-year-old Chimaev.
Still, Li Jingliang often lost because he had no answer to his opponents ’wrestling, and Chimaev is nominally the best wrestler he will face. It is easily possible that evil tongues say that Chimaev got a stylistically suitable opponent, but the knockout power always leaves certain chances for the Chinese fighter.
We only hope that Chimaev will finally make his fourth appearance, and this fight will clarify a lot for us. Is Chimaev really that good and dangerous for his opponents?