Khamzat Chimaev has boldly claimed that he can be the ‘Muhammad Ali’ of MMA after comparing himself to Mike Tyson.
In September 2020, the 26-year-old Chimaev set the record for the fastest consecutive wins in UFC history when he defeated Gerald Meerschaert via first-round KO to win his third Performance of the Night bonus.
However, the UFC fighter hasn’t competed since stopping Meerschaert at UFC Fight Night 178 following a high-profile battle with COVID-19.
But things seem to be back to normal now, with Chimaev’s manager Ali Abdelaziz telling ESPN last week that the Swedish freestyle wrestler is closer than ever to making a comeback after recovering from coronavirus.
Chimaev (9-0) has publicly stated that he plans to fight again and is keeping a close eye on the upcoming welterweight fights in the coming weeks and months in preparation for a possible comeback this summer.
“When I come back to my country, they helped me and did an operation that took some stuff, I don’t know how to explain in English,” Chimaev said to ESPN. “Now, I feel much better. I can’t wait. I am more than 93 kilos [205 pounds], feeling stronger. I just started to train with my team, and I will find [an opponent] to kill… I’m healthy now, hungry again. I want to get back and smash somebody and make money.”
The welterweight division currently boasts some formidable opponents in the form of Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington and Leon Edwards but Chimaev is unequivocal about who he believes to be the best fighter in the business.
“I think it’s [the] right decision,” he added. “I only did [three fights in the UFC]. I didn’t show who I am. People still talk, ‘Ah, he beat b******* guys.’ That makes me [feel] inside somewhere. Now I have to show these people who I am and smash everybody, take my belt. I am MMA Mike Tyson. MMA Muhammad Ali. I’m going to show everybody.”