Khamzat Chimaev headed for surgery, shares ideal return date
Khamzat Chimaev is going under the knife.
“Borz” made a triumphant return to the Octagon at UFC 294 this past October 2023. The superstar Chechnyan extended his perfect record to 13-0 with the biggest win of his career when he defeated the former UFC Welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, via majority decision. Unfortunately for Chimaev, the win came at the price of an injury.
It was confirmed in the weeks following the win that Chimaev had suffered a torn ligament in his hand during the fight. It was unknown at the time whether or not the injury would require surgery, but Chimaev has since provided an update and will indeed be sidelined for an extended period thanks to his impending operation.
“I’m gonna do a surgery, operation, in one-two weeks,” Chimaev said on an Instagram Live (h/t MMA Crazy). “After that, do the recovery, come back, smash somebody.”
Chimaev’s win over Usman presumably set him up to challenge for the Middleweight title as soon as possible, according to UFC CEO, Dana White. However, the injury became a factor, leading to the top-ranked contender, Dricus Du Plessis, getting his shot opposite the champion, Sean Strickland, at UFC 297 on Jan. 20, 2023.
Depending on how long Chimaev is out, the timing for his return could line up perfectly for the promotion’s biggest event of 2024. UFC 300 is expected to take place in April and as per usual, with each 100 pay-per-view (PPV), UFC goes as big as possible. A title shot would likely be ideal for Chimaev, but the dominant contender simply likes the idea of competing on the historic night.
“Tell Dana White, make that happen,” Chimaev said of fighting at UFC 300.