UFC welterweight Khamzat Chimaev is targeting a July return to action after suffering prolonged complications from a Covid-19 diagnosis which caused the cancellation of a scheduled fight with Leon Edwards — but the man he wants to fight, Neil Magny, says he has no intention of waiting around that long.
Chimaev stunned the MMA community several weeks ago by announcing that he was stepping away from MMA after experiencing a slower than expected recovery from Covid-19 but quickly reversed that decision. He is expected to return to training in April ahead of a planned July comeback to the cage but Magny, his preferred option, wants to do the fight sooner rather than later.
Neil Magny tells me he’s definitely down to fight Khamzat Chimaev but July is a long time away:#UFC pic.twitter.com/u1tMTiADte
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) March 25, 2021
“I will fight him any day of the week,” Magny said. “But there’s no way I’m putting my career on hold so that he could hopefully fight me in July. He needs to focus on getting healthy first. The ass-whooping he’s been asking for is long overdue, and is waiting on him.”
UFC veteran Magny would be a compelling test for the highly-rated Chimaev, with the 33-year-old US fighter already owning wins against the likes of Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks and Kelvin Gastelum.
His most recent outing came in January in which he was outpointed by Michael Chiesa but such is the hype behind the unranked Chimaev that a win over him would likely provide a significant boost to Magny’s own status in the welterweight division.
As Dana White often likes to say, we’ll see how this thing plays out.