Fans Worried As Chimaev Pulls Out Of UFC Saudi With A ‘Violent Illness’ – ‘Praying For Him’

June 14, 2024
1 month
Fans Worried As Chimaev Pulls Out Of UFC Saudi With A 'Violent Illness' - 'Praying For Him'

Khamzat Chimaev has pulled out of the UFC Saudi Arabia fight against Robert Whitaker, as the UFC fighter was hospitalized. 

The fight was set to go ahead on June 22 in Saudi Arabia’s first-ever UFC card. Given Chimaev’s Muslim background, the undefeated fighter was seen as integral in increasing the sport’s popularity in the region. Paulo Costa was willing to step in, telling the UFC to ‘call him.’ However, Whittaker will now fight Ikram Aliskerov, who was set to fight at UFC Vegas 93 on Saturday. The following image shows Chimaev, who appears to be in a hospital bed. Dana White has also confirmed the severity of the incident. 

Chimaev Pulls Out

“A little news here, unfortunately, Khamzat Chimaev is out of the fight next weekend in Saudi Arabia, violently and I mean violently ill, so he’s going back home and hopefully he gets well soon,” White said

This is not the first time that Chimaev has had to battle illness. He suffered from COVID-19 during the pandemic, which disrupted his career for months. Hamza’s manager also recalled how he almost died in what was a difficult moment for his career. 

“He can’t train. His friends called me, ‘Hey, Khamzat can’t even speak.’ His fever is so high, his headache is so much, muscle pain and everything. Then an ambulance came and got him to the hospital. Even when he was in the hospital, he called me, when he called me he thought he was going to die. It was really bad,” Majdi Shammas (Chimaev’s manager)

Chimaev has not had a UFC fight since beating ex-UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman. It was a majority decision win at UFC 294, with Usman close to pulling off a win. Since moving up to middleweight from 170 pounds, Chimaev has won both his bouts. His biggest wins have come against Gilbert Burns, Li Jingliang, and Usman.

Whittaker’s Team

While the news will be a disappointment for him, he must get the necessary treatment to come back stronger. The news is also a blow for Whittaker, whose coach (Alex Prates) was confident about winning the fight. Prates referenced the fight with Usman and Burns as providing the blueprint for how to get a win. 

“The two last fights, especially ‘Durinho,’ the Gilbert Burns fight, I need to thank him for the blueprint. I watched the fight so many times. I think he gave a very clear path to victory by starting hard, be very aggressive from the guard, be very aggressive standing. In the fight with Kamaru Usman – and I’m sure Usman is thinking this now – if he could go back and start that fight at a higher pace, he would.

“This is the mistake that we don’t want to do at all. We’re going to start hard. He starts 100 percent, we start 110 percent. When it becomes a dog fight, I don’t see anyone beating Robert in this division – anyone. But if I was a gambling man, which I’m not, third-round technical knockout, Robert Whittaker,” Prates said

Full Card

Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov

Sergei Pavlovich vs. Alexander Volkov

Kelvin Gastelum vs. Daniel Rodriguez

Melsik Baghdasaryan vs. Muhammad Naimov

Volkan Oezdemir vs. Johnny Walker

Joilton Lutterbach vs. Shara Magomedov

Jared Gordon vs. Nasrat Haqparast

Nicolas Dalby vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov

Farid Basharat vs. Montel Jackson

Muin Gafurov vs. Kyung Ho Kang

Magomed Gadzhiyasulov vs. Brendson Ribeiro

SD Dumas vs. Denis Tiuliulin

ChangHo Lee vs. Xiao Long

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