01 Jan Dana White: Travel issues delaying Khamzat Chimaev’s return
Possibly the only thing keeping Khamzat Chimaev from fighting every weekend is his passport.
UFC President Dana White hoped to booked Chimaev at UFC 252 after a breakout pair of performances on Fight Island this past month. But the Allstars Training Center product wasn’t able to enter the U.S.
White told Yahoo! Sports the promotion is working on getting him a visa so he can fight in the U.S. more regularly.
“He wants to fight and people will fight him,” White said. “It’s just we’ve got to work on getting him into the country. It ain’t easy to get people into the country right now.”
The UFC created Fight Island to circumvent visa issues resulting from travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic. But with a hot up-and-coming prospect like Chimaev, the promotion is willing to go the extra mile.
After buzz-sawing through John Phillips and Rhys McKee in 10 days, Chimaev is ready to take on the whole welterweight division.
“I like to fight, taking the cage and smash somebody,” he said after his second win. “It’s too easy, too easy to smash somebody and get money, brother. It’s perfect for me. I have eight fights and eight finishes. I destroy everybody.”
Of course, Chimaev will undoubtedly face stronger competition as he moves up the 170-pound ranks. At that point, the MMA world will see whether he’s justifiably been called “Khabib 3.0.” But so far, the Chechen-born fighter is off to a great start.