Khamzat Chimaev, the UFC newcomer who scored two quickfire victories on Fight Island in July, could face his next opponent within weeks after reportedly landing a visa with the help of promotion boss Dana White.
White admitted that his desire to host Chimaev on a card was being thwarted by travel restrictions earlier this month, leaving the UFC president unable to confirm when one of his most exciting up-and-coming fighters might be able to appear on one of his shows for a third time.
Chimaev made light work of John Phillips in his debut at middleweight on Yas Island before stepping down to welterweight to stop Rhys McKee inside a round in another dominant display 10 days later, a UFC record time for consecutive wins.
Those quick turnarounds might have made his enforced lack of a date for his next fight feel like an eternity to the 26-year-old, but Ali Abdelaziz, who also manages lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, has reportedly confirmed that the issue has now been solved.
The unbeaten former Brave Combat Federation star could now fight on September 19, according to MMA Junkie, which quoted him as gratefully saying: “Nothing is impossible to Dana White. He is the new James Bond.”
It took some time, but Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) has obtained his U.S. visa and may compete again as soon as Sept. 19. When confirming news with @AliAbdelaziz00, he thanked @danawhite for getting visa secured.“Nothing is impossible to Dana White. He is the new James Bond.”
White would undoubtedly enjoy being likened to a hero. “I want him here,” he confided in an Instagram live chat three weeks ago. “I want him to come to America and fight. We’re working on it. We’ll see what happens.”
“He wants to fight and people will fight him but we’ve got to work on getting him in the [country]. It ain’t easy getting people into the country right now.”
Chimaev’s clearance could pave the way for him to continue his impatient charge towards the leading names in the sport as he pursues his ambition of becoming the pound-for-pound UFC number one.
Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker labeled Chimaev a “savage” and said he hoped the Sweden-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist would stay at welterweight after watching McKee fail to land a blow on him as he was blitzed in little more than three minutes in Abu Dhabi.
Ex-heavyweight and light heavyweight title holder Daniel Cormier and welterweight number one Gilbert Burns also heralded Chimaev on social media.