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Khamzat Chimaev targets summer return, addresses Leon Edwards fight rumor

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Khamzat Chimaev is inching closer to his next UFC appearance.

It hasn’t been long since Chimaev’s most recent fight, a win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 this past October, but given Chimaev’s sporadic availability over the years, it’s understandable that fans are getting antsy over when they’ll get to see Chimaev fight again. The two-division title contender recently shot down the possibility of fighting at UFC 300 in April.

In an interview ahead of this Saturday’s Fight Club Rush 19 event in Stockholm, Sweden, Chimaev spoke about a potential return date, citing mid-2024 as a possibility.

“In the summer, I think — in the summer we’ll be back,” Chimaev said. “I want to fight in Saudi Arabia, but I don’t think anyone wants to fight me there. So we’ll see what’s going to happen. Just waiting for something, and they want me to fight [at UFC] 300, but I said it’s too short a time for [170 pounds], I need more time.”

Chimaev’s UFC 294 fight took place at 185 pounds against former UFC welterweight champ Usman, who accepted the bout on just 10 days’ notice as a replacement for Paulo Costa. After three hard-fought rounds, Chimaev came out on top via unanimous decision.

That victory seemingly positioned Chimaev to challenge for the middleweight title, but rumors later emerged that he was in talks to fight welterweight champion Leon Edwards in the UFC 300 main event. However, Chimaev’s observation of Ramadan prevented him from taking that fight on that date.

“It wasn’t 100 percent sure, but we had talked, my manager said, ‘Maybe, maybe,’” Chimaev said of the Edwards matchup. “My brother said to me, ‘Not in Ramadan,’ so after Ramadan we take some time in camp and then we fight anyone.”

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