Khamzat Chimaev made quite a storm in the UFC last year after his impressive debut on Fight Island, and then new fights and another win just ten days later. He had another successful performance and built himself star status, as well as the image of a fighter ready to perform constantly.
Still, he hasn’t fought this year. The reason for this is the more severe form of COVID-19 for which he was forced three times to cancel the contracted fight against Leon Edwards. Luckily, he returns at the end of this month, back to Fight Island, where he will fight Li Jingliang at UFC 268.
He had his most impressive performance so far this year in May, and not in a very positive tone. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov was doing live via Instagram, where he criticized Khabib Nurmagomedov, saying he was a UFC project and not sure if he could be so convincing against fighters from his Akhmat club.
Chimaev joined the chat, saying he would tear Khabib apart if necessary. At the time, it sounded like the opening of a Chechen-Dagestani rivalry. Chimaev later said he did not fully think so but did not personally apologize to Khabib.
That this has finally happened now was confirmed by Khabib’s manager Ali Abdelaziz in an interview with Aaron Bronsteter.
"We are all brothers, we are all Muslim brothers, we all come from the same blood.
After all, Khamzat is young, he is new to the sport, but he is one good guy." "Believe me he is a good guy, I know him well. At that point, many took it as an insult. I also understand Khabib's side. It took Khamzat three months to apologize but I respect what he did because the fighters have a huge ego."
"I knew he would do the right thing. Khabib is like his elder brother, we have such some ranking among ourselves. He came out and corrected the mistake he made. What can I say to that? He put his ego aside, apologized, and the apology was accepted, "Abdelaziz said.
All in all, there is no point in building a rivalry somewhere where it is not possible to arrange a fight. In addition to not being in the same category, Khabib has repeatedly confirmed that he has no intention of returning to the ring.
It would be much more useful for them to start cooperating, especially for Chimaev, who has yet to achieve everything that his "Dagestani brother" has come up with.