Khamzat Chimaev Went to Ireland Looking For Conor McGregor
Back when the rivalry between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor was boiling over, Khamzat Chimaev says he went to Ireland to find the 'Notorious' star.
Khamzat Chimaev made headlines recently by becoming the first fighter in UFC history to win two bouts in a 10-day span. Now the rising fighter’s turning heads with a story about him heading to Ireland in 2018, in an effort to confront Conor McGregor.
Chimaev says he went to Ireland in 2018 searching for McGregor
Chimaev has jumped into the MMA spotlight, as the 26-year-old, Chechen born, Swedish fighter made his UFC debut at the promotion’s July 15th card and submitted middleweight John Phillips. Then, only 10 days later, Chimaev quickly put away fellow, welterweight prospect Rhys McKee.
As you likely recall, in October, 2018, McGregor took on Khabib Nurmagomedov and was submitted by the lightweight champ. The lead-up to the fight, however, was one of the most heated and controversial in UFC history.
Both men exchanged various, verbal jabs leading up to the bout. But, McGregor made inflammatory comments about Khabib, his team, and the champ’s background.
“At that time, I was fighting as an amateur or a pro record of 1-0 when that happened,” Chimaev reportedly said in Russian, as translated by Zubayraev. “It is that time when he insulted Khabib, and he also was talking about Zubaira (Tukhugov).
At that time, nobody knew who I was. He was also talking about another guy who’s also Chechen. I don’t remember his name, but he told us he knocked him out in a sparring session.
My mind was blowing up at the moment, but I’m living here very close to him. I was thinking that I would catch him in the streets or at the gym and beat him up. This is what he deserved.”
Chimaev says, however, that he was detained by authorities and was ultimately sent back to Sweden.
“Yes, I landed in Ireland and waited in an airport,” Chimaev said. “First, they stopped me a while, and then slightly they told me to go. Then I was going out.
When I was going out from the airport, they stopped me again. That time, there were guys literally in uniform. … Yes, there were (special forces), and they told me, ‘You cannot go anywhere.’ But I didn’t get what they meant.
At that time, my English was very bad. Even right now, it’s not that good. … They drove me to the police station and kept me for eight hours.”
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And, while discussing why he headed to McGregor’s native Ireland, Chimaev reportedly said this.
“Honestly speaking, I wanted to beat him up,” Chimaev said. “Many people thought I was coming there to help him to prepare for Khabib. … Not only for Khabib.
I was coming there to protect our pride and honor. I was going there for all of us. If that would not have happened, I would have maybe thrown, I don’t know, some object. … I think I was able to stand for myself.”
It will be interesting to see if the apparently retired, McGregor, has any response to this.