Khamzat Chimaev is a Russian-born Swedish professional mixed martial artist who competes in the welterweight and middleweight divisions of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He formerly competed in Brave CF.
Background in wrestling
Chimaev was born in Chechnya, Russia, where he started wrestling when he was five years old. Later on, he won a bronze medal at the Russian National Championships in the junior level. In 2011, when he was 17 years old, he immigrated to Sweden.
After moving to Sweden, Chimaev continued to wrestle at BK Athén. In 2018, he won a gold medal at the Swedish National Championships at the 92 kilograms (202 lbs) freestyle division. He had a dominant performance in the tournament, as he won his first three matches by technical fall with a score of 10 points to 0 up to the finale, where he defeated his opponent 7 points to none. He also competed in a few judo tournaments and in four combat sambo fights.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Chimaev made his promotional debut in a middleweight bout against John Phillips, replacing Dusko Todorovic, on July 16, 2020, at UFC on ESPN 13. He won the fight via submission in the second round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.
Ten days after the fight against Phillips, Chimaev faced promotional newcomer Rhys McKee at welterweight on July 25, 2020 at UFC on ESPN 14. He won the fight via technical knockout in the first round. He earned his second Performance of the Night bonus award. This win also marked a new UFC record for the fastest consecutive wins in modern UFC history (10 days).
On September 6, 2020 it was reported that Chimaev would have another quick turnaround as he was booked to face Gerald Meerschaert on September 19, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 178. He won the fight against Meerschaert via knockout just 17 seconds into round one. This win earned him his third straight Performance of the Night award. This also earned him a new record, as it was fastest three fight winning streak in modern UFC history (66 days).
Chimaev is currently scheduled to headline an event against a TBA opponent, at the UFC Apex.
Chimaev trains at Allstar Training Center in Stockholm, Sweden. He moved there to start his MMA career, after previously living in another Swedish town, Kalmar, where he trained at the local wrestling club. At Allstar Training Center he trains along with current and former UFC Fighters such as Alexander Gustafsson, Ilir Latifi and Chimaev’s main trainer Reza Madadi among others.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Performance of the Night (Three times) vs. John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert
Record for fastest consecutive wins in Modern UFC history (10 days)
Record for quickest three fight win streak in Modern UFC history (66 days)
Brave Combat Federation
Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Ikram Aliskerov
Nordic MMA Awards – MMAviking.com
2018 Prospect of the Year
Swedish Wrestling Federation
2018 Swedish National Championship, Freestyle Gold (-92 kg)
Chimaev often utilizes his freestyle wrestling pedigree in his fights to get his opponents to the ground. Once he is on top control, he will employ different techniques to suffocate his opponents and land heavy ground-and-pound or seek for submissions, while forcing his weight towards them. His grappling is very often compared to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s, due to the similarities of the techniques, such as the handcuff lock and hooking the legs. While utilizing this strategy, Chimaev was able to land 192 strikes to 2 in his first two bouts in the UFC and also proved its effectiveness in the regional circuit when he quickly dismantled former two-time GHSA wrestling champion Sydney Wheeler after taking him down with an outside trip.
Despite his dominating grappling abilities, Chimaev will also strike in his contests. While still relatively unknown and untested, his striking involves heavy knockout power from an orthodox stance while utilizing basic boxing and mixing up kicks. He also uses his wrestling to feint different takedowns and set up his strikes, and vice versa. By using his striking, Chimaev has been able to knockout UFC veteran Gerald Meerschaert (who had only been knocked out twice in 44 professional fights) in just 17 seconds with one punch on his most recent fight and drop past opponents (such as former combat sambo World Champion Ikram Aliskerov) in the regional circuit.
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