Republic of Chechnya leader, Ramzan Kadyrov has detailed his recent conversation with UFC welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev, in which he essentially persuaded the 9-0 prospect against a retirement from professional mixed martial arts, despite his ongoing battle with the novel coronavirus.

Testing positive for COVID-19 late last year, Chimaev was forced to withdraw from two scheduled matchups with fellow welterweight contender, Leon Edwards in January and March — with doctor’s failing to grant him medical clearance to train or compete in active competition. 

Per UFC president, Dana White, Chimaev recently travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada to receive treatment for lingering health issues amid his battle with COVID-19, and was expected to follow through with plans to make his next Octagon appearance at an event in June, having recently expressed his interest in drawing division mainstay, Neil Magny.

Taking to his official Instagram account last night, Chimaev seemed to call time on his professional mixed martial arts career as he deals with the effects of his positive coronavirus test — also posting a picture on his official story of a bathroom sink containing droplets of blood.

I want to say thank you all so much for supporting me in my journey in this sport,” Chimaev wrote via Google Translate. “I think I’m done, yes I know I didn’t take the belt but it’s not the most important victory in this life. It may upset you but my heart and body tell me everything. I want to say a big thank you to my team @allstargymsweden. I want to say a big thank you to @ufc.

Chimaev also warned his followers that the novel coronavirus isn’t a disease that can be easily “outlived“.

Take yourself and your family this is the most important thing. The main thing is I do not know what this disease is but it is not easily outlived.

Speaking with MMA Junkie reporter, John Morgan after Chimaev posted on his social media, the above mentioned, White maintained that Chimaev was “emotional” when he made his decision to post, and how he isn’t in fact retired at all

When he (Khamzat Chimaev) got here (Las Vegas), the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty f*cking steroid,” White said. “So he’s on prednisone, and he’s supposed to be taking this thing and chilling, relaxing, and letting himself recover. He went in and f*cking trained today, felt like sh*t, and got super emotional and posted that.

“He’s not supposed to be training, but you know, this guy’s a savage,” White said. “He wants to fight every f*cking weekend, and now he can’t even train, so he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain’t quitting.”

Whilst running this course of prednisone, Chimaev has been advised against training — with White further detailing how the Chechen-born finisher must heed that medical advice at least while he’s on this course of medication.

He was flown out here so that we could take care of him,” White said. “We get him taken care of. They got him on medication. He’s going to be fine, and he goes in and starts f*cking training. He’s not supposed to be training, and he’s super frustrated. He’s training when he’s supposed to be resting. He’s got to stay off, at least while he’s on this medication.

Posting on Instagram this morning, Kadyrov spoke of his conversation with Chimaev — in which he reminded the UFC prospect of his influence on the young generation in Chechnya. And how sad the country and his followers would be if he retired. 

Friends, you’ve probably already heard the news about Khamzat Chimaev, who announced his retirement from (the) UFC in his account. I couldn’t believe my eyes, I called and talked to Chimaev. Khamzat said recovery from illness was slow and, in an attempt to be honest and frank with fans, he decided not to discourage them. I told him that the WHOLE Chechen people were upset with this news. I reminded Chimaev that all our youth, whom he inspires, have great hopes for his victory, and what to say — millions of patients in Russia and the world!

And if fans have to wait for his return, then all of us will be anxiously awaiting his exit into the Octagon. During our conversation, Chimaev realized how important his career is to every Chechen citizen and promised to make every effort to recover as soon as possible. In the near future,he will fly to the Republic (of Chechnya), where he will finish the rehabilitation course, conduct training and start training. Which means that Khamzat does not leave, HE REMAINS AND HE WILL FIGHT TO THE END!

The heart and body whispered ‘everything’, — that’s exactly what Khamzat wrote on Instagram. But the Chechen SPIRIT and will to win shout to him, ‘Go!’. Therefore, I know for sure that he is the best of the best! And I urge the fans to make dua, and ask the almighty for health and speedy recovery for our beloved athlete, Muslim and true champion Hamzat (sic) Chimaev! I gave it to the boyla hyan, BUTCHCHCHIN BORZ HIMZAT!” (H/T Ariel Helwani)

Kadyrov, 44, assumed office in April of 2011 and has been come under mass criticism for a vast amount of human right abuses under his leadership of Chechnya, including the encouragement of the rounding up, torture and execution of homosexual males in the country. Last year, he was sanctioned by the United States for human right abuses. 

In an interview with HBO‘s Real Sports in the summer of 2017, Kadyrov claimed that Chechnya wouldn’t have any “gays” — and how Canada should take “those kind of people“. 

We don’t have those kind of people here,” Kadyrov said. “We don’t have any gays, If there are any take them to Canada. Praise be to God. Take them far from us so we don’t have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them.

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.