It turns out Khamzat Chimaev had his sights set on Conor McGregor for a while.
The pair recently went back-and-forth on social media after McGregor insulted Chimaev in a social media post which led to the latter hitting back.
And in a recent interview (via MMA Junkie), Chimaev revealed the hostility between the two went as far back as 2018 when McGregor insulted Nurmagomedov as well as a number of Chechens including Zubaira Tukhugov in the buildup to their UFC 229 fight.
The Chechnya-born Chimaev was left incensed as he wanted to beat McGregor up.
“At that time, I was fighting as an amateur or a pro record of 1-0 when that happened,” Chimaev said. “It is that time when he insulted Khabib, and he also was talking about Zubaira (Tukhugov). At that time, nobody knew who I was. He was also talking about another guy who’s also Chechen. I don’t remember his name, but he told us he knocked him out in a sparring session.
“My mind was blowing up at the moment, but I’m living here very close to him. I was thinking that I would catch him in the streets or at the gym and beat him up. This is what he deserved.”
Chimaev Traveled To Ireland
Chimaev took action as he even traveled to Ireland to fight McGregor.
In the end, nothing occurred as he was stopped at the airport, jailed and then told to go home to Sweden. There were no official reasons as to why he was detained.
However, he was ready to pretend he was going there to help McGregor prepare for Nurmagomedov when in reality, he wanted to defend Nurmaogmedov’s as well as the Chechen people’s honor.
“Honestly speaking, I wanted to beat him up,” Chimaev added. “Many people thought I was coming there to help him to prepare for Khabib. … Not only for Khabib. I was coming there to protect our pride and honor.
“I was going there for all of us. If that would not have happened, I would have maybe thrown, I don’t know, some object. … I think I was able to stand for myself.”
Chimaev has enjoyed a meteoric rise to his UFC career with two dominant wins in the space of 10 days. He will look to make it three wins in the space of a month after UFC president Dana White revealed he would try and land him a fight at UFC 252 on August 15.
What do you make of Chimaev’s revelation?