Report – UFC star Khamzat Chimaev sees passport seized by Russian authorities in St. Petersburg

Khamzat Chimaev
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC

Undefeated UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev, is reportedly unable to leave the country of Russia according to a report from Brazilian outlet, Combate, after the Chechen-born fighter saw authorities seize his passport after he arrived in St. Petersburg. 

Chimaev, the current #3 ranked welterweight contender, improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 12-0 last month in the co-main event of UFC 279 against Kevin Holland, securing a first round D’Arce choke submission win. 

According to Combate, Chimaev, who was set to visit family in his native Chechnya, arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia this week, and has since had his passport seized by authorities, leaving him currently unable to leave the country.

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The report details how Khamzat Chimaev’s team are currently in discussions with Swedish government officials in order to expedite a return to the country. Chimaev is a resident of Sweden and currently trains at AllStars MMA in the country under head coach, Andreas Michael. The 28-year-old immigrated to Sweden at the age of 19. 

Chimaev was reportedly expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday of this week in order to attend the premiere of “O Belta Preta – A Verdadeira Historia de Fernando Terere.” 

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Khamzat Chimaev shares a well-publicized relationship with Ramzan Kadyrov

The undefeated contender has been the subject of scrutiny over the last number of years for his relationship with Chechen warlord, Ramzan Kadyrov, with the duo pictured and filmed together at functions and events in Chechnya. Chimaev and Kadyrov have spent time training and grappling together recently, with the latter also gifting Khamzat Chimaev a Mercedes Benz SUV following a previous Octagon victory, which Chimaev ultimately crashed. 

The Chechen fighter was the subject of much criticism last month ahead of his UFC 279 appearance, with Chimaev missing weight ahead of a scheduled headliner against Nate Diaz by a whopping seven and a half pounds, resulting in the cancellation of their bout atop the card. 

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In a later development, Chimaev’s manager, Majdi Shammas has denied reports that his client’s passport has been revoked.

“I just spoke to Khamzat Chimaev’s (@KChimaev) manager Majdi Shamaas, who told me reports of Khamzat being stuck in Russia with a revoked passport are not true,” Brett Okamoto of ESPN MMA tweeted. “Khamzat is in Russia, but there are ‘no problems’ with any travel restrictions according to Shammas.”