Over the past two years, the career of one of the UFC’s brightest prospects, Khamzat Chimaev, has experienced an incredible decline. Incredible compared to expectations, the bar that Borz himself set very high.
Everyone remembers well how Khamzat broke into the promotion and destroyed two rivals in 10 days. He then clearly confirmed his own words that he was willing to fight anyone, anytime. The level of opposition in the first fights, of course, was not the highest, but Chimaev destroyed his opponents. His aggressive fighting and his power were not given to anyone. Khamzat himself is quite big, and at welterweight he is even huge, so he took full advantage of his dimensions.
In the first four fights, Chimaev missed only two (!) punches. It would seem that we have before us a new star for many more years. Furthermore, Borz himself fueled these conversations, declaring a triple championship and the desire to slander everyone. Three victories in 66 days, return from a serious illness and again destruction, this time of a rival who was in 11th place. The management liked Khamzat so much that they decided to pair him with Leon Edwards, who was in the top three. In fact, they wanted to feed the British, but he stubbornly resisted and even paid for it with a place in the top 15: he was eliminated from the ranking, but then received an amnesty.
The fairy tale began to come to an end with the emergence of a truly top contender. Gilbert Burns not only resisted, but almost stopped the young star. The Brazilian repeatedly hit Chimaev hard, but ultimately lost a unanimous decision. And Khamzat lowered the level of opposition again. He was supposed to fight Nate Diaz, but he ended up fighting Kevin Holland. Neither of them, with all due respect to them, seemed like the next step towards the title. And then Khamzat disappeared completely.
Fight between Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland
Photo: Chris Unger/Getty Images
It turns out that now Borz no longer flies to the United States due to visa problems and, from the experience of his compatriot Mairbek Taisumov, we know that it is almost a lost cause. If nothing has been decided in a year and a half, it is unlikely that anything will change in the near future.
Chimaev’s last fight took place in Abu Dhabi against former UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who entered this fight literally from the couch. Considering that Khamzat’s downtime was one year and his opponents were short-notice veterans, many expected a landslide victory, but it actually turned out a little differently. Borz was very tired in the first round and was unable to finish Usman, and the remaining two segments looked iffy. This was another reason to doubt Chimaev.
There are more and more details about Chimaev’s visa problems:
“Chimaev is not allowed to travel.” Borz’s belt dreams ruined by visa problems
His reputation has suffered a lot lately. They call Khamzat the champion of Twitter, the champion in the number of calls to fighters, and they openly ridicule the traditional phrase “See you soon”, which Chimaev almost always uses. He promised to see Pereira, Edwards, Strickland, du Plessis and Adesanya soon. Fans joked, “I’m surprised he hasn’t called Raquel Pennington yet.”
Dana White still calls Chimaev the promotion’s superstar and is obviously hopeful that the visa issue will be resolved. According to journalist Ariel Helwani, the UFC was hoping to organize a fight between Chimaev and Edwards at the head of the UFC 300 tournament, but since Borz cannot fly to the United States, they will have to wait and think about other options. Khamzat himself wrote that he would not fight in Ramadan, but had previously stated several times that he wanted to compete in the anniversary tournament. Furthermore, he has already fought in Ramadan three times. It is unlikely that the Chechen has recently learned that UFC 300 overlaps with these dates.
Photo: Getty Images
Now Chimaev is ranked 11th in the rankings, without fights, without a single fighter for the title and without a visa for the United States. He said that he wants to fight in Saudi Arabia in June, which is logical, since he can fly there safely. Maybe he too to Singapore and France, but what’s next? Additionally, the tournament in Saudi Arabia is Fight Night, meaning Khamzat’s ambitions have already begun to slow.
The man who was predicted to become Conor McGregor’s glory, believing he could become the promotion’s top star, is slowly fading into the background. Borz’s UFC career, which seemed destined to become one of the greatest, turns out to be the main disappointment in the history of the promotion.