Manager shares update on Khamzat Chimaev’s hand injury from UFC 294
Khamzat Chimaev returned to action after a year away from the cage at UFC 294 and it was a classic performance … for the first five minutes, anyway.
Chimaev ragdolled former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman through the first round, taking him down and threatening to submit him. The domination was so thorough that all three judges awarded “Borz” the first round with 10-8 scores.
But something changed in Chimaev for the second and third rounds. He was tentative, and Kamaru used the space granted by Khamzat to fight his way back to a narrow majority decision loss. Following the fight, Chimaev revealed he suffered a hand injury early in the fight and was was worried he might have broken it.
Now we have an update on that injury. Chimaev’s manager Majdi Shammas reached out to ESPN to say Khamzat’s hand isn’t broken, but the fighter does have a torn ligament that will require a brace for a month. No surgery will be required, which is fortunate.
This clears the way for Khamzat Chimaev to fight Sean Strickland for the middleweight title at an event in early 2024. With Chimaev currently unable to travel to the US, dates are limited as to when that fight could take place. Fortunately, the UFC has an event booked in Saudi Arabia for March. It’s being held in the same 28,000 seat arena that just hosted Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, and we have no doubt the stops will be pulled out to make sure it’s a massive affair.
A title fight between Chimaev and Strickland sounds like a pretty good fight to place atop that card.