UFC star Khamzat Chimaev has seemingly announced his retirement from mixed martial arts after battling with Covid-19.
The Russian is unbeaten at the moment and is coming off a huge one-punch KO win over Gerald Meerschaert.
He was considered one of the company’s jewels in the rough after starting off his UFC career with three straight stoppage wins, but his ascendence of the rankings was halted by Covid-19.
And in a post on Instagram on Monday night, Chimaev appeared to announce he was retiring at the age of 26.
He expressed that he felt his heart and body were both telling him it was time to hang up the gloves.
Chimaev posted: “I want to say thank you all so much for supporting me in my journey in this sport.
“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.”
Chimeav tested positive for the virus on December 1 2020 when he was preparing to fight Leon Edwards in what could have been a breakout fight for the 26-year-old.
The fight was rescheduled for January 20, but had to be scrapped again due to Chimaev struggling with lingering effects of the virus.
It was then rescheduled for March 13, but UFC president Dana White was forced to once again postpone the event.
A member of Chimaev’s team even claimed the fighter thought he was going to die due to the virus.
Majdi Shammas, Chimaev’s manager, said: “He can’t train. His friends called me and said, ‘Hey, Khamzat can’t even speak. His fever is so high, his headache is so much, you know, his muscle pain and everything.’
“Then an ambulance came and got him to the hospital.
“Even when he was in the hospital he called me like, when he called me he thought he was going to die. He was really bad.”
Chimaev was planning to return to the octagon in June, but it now seems he has scrapped those comeback plans entirely.