Everything you need to know about UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev, who has made an incredible start to his MMA career as he tries to win his first world title.
|Born:||1st May, 1994|
|Resides:||United Arab Emirates|
|Next Fight:||Kamaru Usman (Saturday October 21st 2023)|
While other MMA fighters start learning their craft when they are young, Chimaev did not begin his stewardship until he was 23.
Having watched Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo fight, Chimaev was inspired to start his own path in MMA, and he soon completed three amateur fights, winning all three inside the distance.
He was considered one of the best wrestlers in Sweden after his move to the European country, and he remained there to start his MMA career, often sparring with three-time UFC Light Heavyweight Championship challenger Alexander Gustafsson.
Chimaev turned professional in 2018, soon signing a contract to fight for the Middle Eastern organisation Brave Combat Federation.
He was snapped up by the UFC two years later, making his debut against John Phillips at middleweight at UFC on ESPN 13.
Chimaev replaced Dusko Todorovic for that bout before stopping Phillips via a second-round submission. That win earned him the Performance of the Night award before he then beat Rhys McKee 10 days later thanks to a first-round stoppage. He still holds the record for the fastest consecutive wins in modern UFC history.
Chimaev was expected to fight current UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards in December 2020, but both men were forced to postpone the contest due to illness.
UFC organisers rescheduled the fight for March 2021, only for Chimaev to fall ill once again before he surprisingly announced his retirement as he struggled to regain peak fitness.
UFC president Dana White quickly shut down those claims, suggesting he made the comments during an emotional time in his career.
Chimaev's fans were delighted to see him return in October 2021, and he has never looked back. At UFC 267, he choked Jingliang unconscious with a rear-naked choke in round one, winning a fourth straight Performance of the Night award.
He has since beaten Gilbert Burns and Kevin Holland, and after a year out of the octagon, he returns in a thrilling contest against former welterweight world champion Usman.
Chimaev was not originally supposed to fight Usman, but an injury suffered by Paulo Costa means he will now take on his fellow wrestler.
Both men have used their superior wrestling skills to win fights and climb through the world rankings, and Chimaev has made light work of all of his opponents. While he has not had to stay on his feet often, Chimaev is known for his powerful striking, but Usman will be no pushover.
Usman will return to the Octagon for the first time since losing to Edwards at UFC 286, where he lost by a majority decision. In their first fight, Usman was knocked out in the final round by a head kick, in what was his first defeat since 2013 and his first in the UFC.
A win for either fighter could set up a potential world title fight in the first few months of 2024, and Chimaev will feel like he can take advantage of Usman's losing run.
Another defeat for Usman could spell the end of his career in the UFC at the highest level, and Chimaev will be desperate to finally face Edwards after their first bout was cancelled on several occasions.
Khamzat Chimaev's net worth is reported to be around $1million. While he has competed in the UFC for just over three years, he has yet to compete for a world title, but a win over Usman should be able to change that and, therefore, increase his potential career earnings.
As a UFC fighter, Chimaev's fights are broadcast on TNT Sports in the UK.
Despite starting his MMA career in Sweden, Chimaev recently moved to the United Arab Emirates.
In Sweden, he was training under coaches like Andreas Michael at the Allstars Training Center, but he appears to have cut ties with them and now trains at the Akhmat Fight Club in the UAE.
His decision to move gyms and his base to the UAE was a surprise, and he will hope the decision is vindicated when he takes on Usman in the co-main event of UFC 294, which Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski headling the card.