Khamzat Chimaev’s UFC Saudi Arabia withdrawal due to food poisoning is ‘fake rumors’

MixCollage 20 Jun 2024 06 42 AM 6200

Khamzat Chimaev’s withdrawal due to food poisoning is nothing more than fake news.

Roughly two weeks before he was scheduled to headline UFC’s big debut in Saudi Arabia against Robert Whittaker, ‘Borz’ was forced to bow out of the bout after becoming “violently ill.” Shortly after the news broke, images surfaced of Chimaev in the hospital and looking worse for wear. As it stands, only people within his circle have the details, but recently, rumors began to circulate that the affliction was due to a severe case of food poisoning.

Khamzat Chimaev

However, Tam Khan, a member of Chimaev’s training camp has called “bullsh*t” on those rumors, indicating that the illness was something far more severe.

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Khamzat Chimaev

“All these fake rumours about [Khamzat Chimaev] pulling out due to food poisoning is absolutely bullshit,” Khan wrote on X. “I was part of the camp & behind the scenes. As a brother I won’t share his dark times but trust me when I say, he was very sick & hospitalised. The guy’s a beast & to see him so bad wasn’t a good time for us all.

“Praying for his recovery & comeback. Unfortunately God had other plans & nobody could’ve anticipated or foreseen this. The last weeks were tough & he tried every solution but last week got so bad that it was impossible to fight. InshaAllah he’ll be back, but for now, rest & recovery is needed.”

This isn’t Khamzat Chimaev’s first time dealing with a serious illness

This is certainly not the first time Khamzat Chimaev has found himself in a situation like this. In 2020, ‘Borz’ dealt with an especially nasty bout of COVID-19 that was so severe, that he had contemplated retiring from MMA altogether.

“It affected him so quickly,” Chimaev’s jiu-jitsu coach, Alan Nascimento, told MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca. “He had every symptom, including difficulty to breathe. We were worried. He started to struggle desperately in the middle of the night, he couldn’t breathe, and we wanted to take him to the hospital.”

Fortunately, ‘Borz’ made a full recovery, but after the quick start to his UFC career that saw him score three wins in the span of seven weeks, it was more than a year between his win over Gerald Meerschaert and his return against Li Jingliang.

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In the four years since, he has only fought four times, seeing multiple main event opportunities fall through.

Stepping in Chimaev’s place at UFC Saudi Arabia on June 22 will be relative newcomer Ikram Aliskerov.

Earning his UFC contract on a 2022 episode of Dana White’s Contender Series, Aliskerov has earned back-to-back first-round finishes inside the Octagon, dispatching Phil Hawes and Warlley Alves last year. With a win over ‘The Reaper’ in Riyadh, Aliskerov would immediately thrust himself from outside of the welterweight top 15 and into title contention.

Khamzat Chimaev