Khamzat Chimaev set for surgery amid hand injury, promises dominant UFC return: ‘Come back, smash somebody’

Khamzat Chimaev betting favorite to hold title at end of 2024 after UFC 297

Despite initial optimism how undefeated middleweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev may avoid surgery to address a ligament injury in his hand following his decision win over former welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 back in October, the Chechen-born contender is slated to go under the knife in the coming weeks.

Chimaev, the current number eight ranked middleweight contender, co-headlined UFC 294 earlier this year in Abu Dhabi, UAE, landing a close, majority decision win over former pound-for-pound number one, Usman over the course of three rounds.

And revealing how he had suffered an injury to his hand during the opening round of his close back-and-forth with Auchi native, Usman at UFC 294, Khamzat Chimaev’s manager revealed his client would wear a supportive brace on his hand in the aftermath, however, would likely escape a surgical procedure to address the injury.

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Khamzat Chimaev confirms surgery to address hand injury

Two months on, however, Chimaev himself has confirmed he is set to go under the knife in two weeks time to address his hand injury. And as usual, has predicted a dominant showcase in his return to the Octagon.

“I’m gonna do a surgery, operation, in one-two weeks,” Khamzat Chimaev said during an Instagram Live session. “After that, do the recovery, come back, smash somebody.” 

Missing out on an immediate title fight with the incumbent Sean Strickland, who fights Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 in January, Chimaev should be nowhere near a championship clash according to the Clovis native.

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“(Khamzat) Chimaev, he doesn’t f*cking deserve it,” Sean Strickland said. “We all know that. The only reason why Chimaev gets that shot is because he sells a lot of tickets. That’s it. At the end of the day, man. I’m happy with Dricus (du Plessis). It’s gonna be a hell of a fight, and I’m just happy the UFC is doing the right thing.”

“He’s next in line, he f*cking deserves it,” Sean Strickland explained. “They’ve been doing a lot of f*ckery lately with rankings and bullsh*t. Just f*cking wrong, man. We need to go back to a professional sport where rankings matter because as of now, rankings mean f*ck-all sh*t.” 

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Chimaev recently also received an interesting offer to make a light heavyweight debut in his return to the UFC, by former titleholder, Jiri Prochazka, who urged him to make another divisional leap.

Who would you like to see Khamzat Chimaev fight in his UFC return?