Welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev has gained a bit of a reputation lately for brawling in public. So, it was only somewhat surprising to hear he’d gotten into another fight outside the cage following Islam Makhachev’s win at UFC 280 last night (Sat. Oct. 22, 2022) in Abu Dhabi.
Multiple cameras in the arena captured the moment when Chimaev and Makhachev teammate, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, got into a punch-up. At first, it seemed like “Borz” was the primary aggressor, but further videos taken close enough to pick up the conversation between Abubakar and Khamzat tell a different story.
Chimaev went up to congratulate someone on Team Khabib, tapping them to get their attention. Abubakar called him back and criticized him over the “punch.”
“Hey, you could have done it without [the punch],” Abubakar said, holding tightly onto Khamzat’s hand. “Just come carefully and then go.”
“I will do whatever I want,” Khamzat replied.
KC: I will do however I want!— WOSSO NEWS (@latarxoy) October 23, 2022
AN: No, with me you won't.
KC: Yes, I will.
AN: No, you won't.
KC: Of course I will!
Then Abubakar flinches at Khamzat trying to scare him, Khamzat pushes him, Abubakar swings left overhand, misses and Borz counters with two clean punches. #WossoNews pic.twitter.com/0mqHBCwGpq
“Not with me you won’t,” Khabib’s cousin declared.
After some more back-and-forth, Chimaev pushed Abubakar back. Abubakar responded by throwing a punch, and Khamzat fired back with two of his own.
This isn’t the first time Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Khamzat Chimaev have had beef. Chimaev got a lot of heat after declaring in an interview that he could “tear up Khabib.” Abubakar took those comments personally.
“Not long ago in America, you sat at the same table with us and ate, trained in the same gym, went to the Mosque together and called us Brothers,” he wrote on Instagram back in 2021. “And now you write that you will tear someone up? Everyone has the right to express their opinion. But, be careful with your statements.”
Fortunately, it doesn’t sound like this latest incident will set off another big rift between Chimaev’s Chechen faction and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Dagestani crew. We have Chechen leader (and alleged war criminal) Ramzan Kadyrov to thank for that.
He had the two make up over Facetime with him following UFC 280.
“Nerves can be stressed to the limit not only in the Octagon, but also outside,” an Instagram account associated with Kadyrov wrote. “Each of the spectators is worried about the athlete, and the fighters experience the same emotions as in the ring. Therefore, it is not surprising that misunderstandings arise at the limit of emotions. There is no quarrel between Khamzat Chimaev and Abubakr Nurmagomedov - I have made sure of it personally, and I pass this information on to the ill-wishers.
“Do not blow up this problem of a global scale and do not try to instigate and tease athletes and their fans,” the Instagram post continued. “This happens, including among brothers. But it was the misunderstanding that was resolved. We were and will be brothers, Inshallah! So do not write nonsense, do not take sin to your soul, for every dirty word you will have to answer to the Almighty!”
Well, that sounds settled. We’re sure nothing will ever come of it again.
UPDATE Here’s a video made by Khabib (with captions in English) where he clears the air on the situation and makes it clear that he wants all parties to behave like brothers moving forward.
For complete UFC 280 results and coverage click here.