Less than four years have passed since Khamzat Chimaev's professional MMA debut. The Chechen with a Swedish passport in just over a year recorded six wins and deserved to sign a contract with the UFC. He continued there at the same pace.
With two wins in the space of ten days, he became the UFC’s record holder for the shortest gap between two wins. Two months later, he registered his third victory, but then problems with the coronavirus and a longer break followed.
Chimaev made his fourth UFC appearance in late October last year and came away with the win again. Expressly, Khamzat has made his way onto the world stage and is currently 11th in the UFC welterweight rankings. He has a showdown with second-ranked challenger Gilbert Burns this week.
If he beats the Brazilian, Chimaev will jump a few steps and reach the threshold of the very top. It’s an amazing rise for this 27-year-old. Chimaev quickly started to attract the interest of fans and the media with his great performances and personality.
So Brett Okamoto from ESPN recently traveled to Stockholm to do a few interviews with Khamzat, but also Darren Till. ESPN released the latest interview of Okamoto and Chimaev on its YouTube channel yesterday, and a particularly interesting part is where Khamzat explains what motivated him to dedicate himself to MMA.
Namely, at the age of 19, Chimaev moved from Chechnya to Sweden, where he and his mother were welcomed by Khamzat's brother, who already lived there.
Chimaev on McGregor
Chimaev did not find happiness in ordinary jobs, so he increasingly leaned towards turning to martial arts and building such a career.
Watching the match between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, Chimaev prevailed that he definitely wants to try his hand at the sport. '' I watched as Conor knocked him out. I thought to myself, 'If such an easy guy can do it, why can't I? I am mentally stronger than him, my body is bigger than his'
I thought I could break him if we got into a fight on the street. If he earns so much money, why shouldn't I? '' Khamzat told ESPN. Throughout the rest of the conversation, Chimaev spoke in more detail about the reasons for moving to Sweden, as well as about his life in the hall.
See the complete interview in the video at the bottom of the text. Chimaev is a phenomenal fighter and it can be said that he is close to great success because he has everything a fighter needs.