Surging UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev has revealed that he had initially questioned if cancer was the reason behind him coughing up blood due to his lingering health issues he’s suffering following a positive COVID-19 test result late last year.
Chimaev took to his official Instagram account at the beginning of March, sharing a worrying post of a bathroom sink containing blood droplets, detailing to his followers that the novel coronavirus wasn’t something to be taken lightly; “Take yourself and your family this is the most important thing. The main thing is I do not know what this disease is but it is not easily outlived.“
In a prior post, Chimaev appeared to hint at an impending retirement from professional mixed martial arts due to the lingering issues which has seen him removed from two pairings with the #3 ranked, Leon Edwards in January and earlier this month, as he failed to obtain clearance to prepare or compete by medical officials.
“I want to say thank you all so much for supporting me in my journey in this sport,” Chimaev wrote via Google Translate. “I think I’m done, yes I know I didn’t take the belt but it’s not the most important victory in this life. It may upset you but my heart and body tell me everything. I want to say a big thank you to my team @allstargymsweden. I want to say a big thank you to @ufc.“
UFC president, Dana White, and Republic of Chechnya leader, Ramzan Kadyrov were quick to rebuff any speculation that Chimaev had retired, with White claiming the Chechen-born finisher was prescribed a course of prednisone, and how they still targeted a May return for him.
Kadyrov on the other hand had released a statement in which he explained how he had spoken with Chimaev over the phone — where he more or less swayed his decision on any step away from the sport, reminding the 26-year-old the influence he has on the younger generation in Chechnya.
In line with a recent claim from his manager, Dominance MMA leader, Ali Abdelaziz, Chimaev seemed to confirm an incoming Octagon return, maintaining he would return to the UFC before too long to “smash” everyone.
Speaking with Russian outlet, RT Sport recently, Chimaev revealed that he thought he had cancer when he began coughing up blood earlier this month, and how doctor’s in Las Vegas where he is currently being treated, explained to him that he could return to cardio training before the setback.
“Yes, (the medical care in Las Vegas, Nevada) was good but they made me train,” Chimaev said. “I was doing good at first, then they told me that I could start cardio training. And I felt sick again. I went to the bathroom and started coughing up blood. That just messed up my mind a bit. Honestly, It scared me cancer? Like, ‘I have been sick so long, why doesn’t it go away?’ Different thoughts were going through my mind. Plus I was alone there in Las Vegas, struggling to overcome it all.” (H/T MMA Junkie)
Scoring three wins since his Octagon debut back in July of last year, the AllStars mainstay has been linked to a potential return to active competition against welterweight mainstay, Neil Magny — following a trio of finishes over John Phillips, Rhys McKee, and Gerald Meerschaert.