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Deadline passed! Khamzat Chimaev shuts down fight camp until after Ramadan

After months of waiting for a fight, Khamzat Chimaev is taking a break from training to celebrate Ramadan.

UFC 279: Chimaev v Holland Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

It’s official: we won’t be seeing Khamzat Chimaev fight for a few more months.

The Chechen fighter updated his Instagram on Monday to state he was taking time off to celebrate the Muslim tradition of Ramadan. That’s the ninth month in the Islamic calendar which is marked worldwide by fasting, prayer, and reflection.

“We’ll be back after Ramadan Insha’Allah,” Chimaev wrote on his social media.

Ramadan lasts from March 22nd to April 20th. During this time, devout Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. That makes it hard for athletes practicing their faith to train at full strength.

Chimaev has been hard at work preparing for fights that just haven’t materialized. He’s had mini-camps in Saudi Arabia and Thailand, and footage of his hard sparring matches have left many wondering what the hold-up is. According to the Chechen, the UFC hasn’t been able to get anyone to compete against him.

Dana White had previously said he’d hoped to pit Chimaev against Colby Covington on the undercard of UFC 286 on March 18th, but that clearly hasn’t come together. The next pay-per-view after that is UFC 287 on April 8th, but that’s a bit too close to Ramada for a proper camp. That positions UFC 288 on May 6th as the most likely next possible date for “Borz.”

Another fighter that has been sitting around waiting to fight is Robert Whittaker. Whittaker was set to fight Paulo Costa at UFC 284 in Australia, but Costa refused to fight after contract negotiations with the UFC fell apart.

“I’m upset because whenever a fight falls through that means you’re not getting paid for a little bit longer,” he said on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast. “As well as all the work that you’ve put in the bank up until that point it’s kind of for naught, and then the just the fact that the fight didn’t go through and I wasn’t given any other timeline. I’ve been in limbo, no man’s land.”

With Khamzat Chimaev reportedly bulking up for a potential run at middleweight, could Chimaev vs. Whittaker be next? It’s a great fight, and one that Chimaev himself has called for. But is it so great that it’s worth leaving two of your top fighters benched for half the year? We’re not so sure about that.

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