Khamzat Chimaev will return at UFC 267 against no. 12 welterweight Li Jingliang.
Chimaev has not fought since September after catching COVID-19 and suffering its lingering effects.
Li scored a big upset over Santiago Ponzinibbio in his most recent outing at UFC Fight Island 7.
Khamzat Chimaev finally has a return date.
According to a report from MMAJunkie, the 27-year old from Chechnya, Russia will be making his long -awaited UFC return against no. 12 welterweight Li Jingliang at UFC 267 on October 30th in Abu Dhabi:
Khamzat Chimaev and Li Jingliang set to face each other at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi. First reported by @raphamarinho89. pic.twitter.com/zIKB09S3cS
— MMA On Point (@OnPointMMA) July 9, 2021
The UFC has not officially announced the bout but sources say that both fighters have already verbally agreed to the details of the fight.
UFC 267 will be headlined by a pair of title fights. UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz defends his belt against Glover Teixeira in the main event while UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will make his first defense against the man he won it form-Petr Yan.
Chimaev Catches COVID-19
Khamzat Chimaev has tested positive for COVID-19. Unclear on what the UFC is doing at the moment.
(According to @kimurasweden) pic.twitter.com/c142OGLhxu
— MMAUnhinged (@MmaUnhinged) November 29, 2020
Chimaev tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of November and saw his December bout against Leon Edwards postponed after Edwards also tested positive for COVID-19 weeks later. That bout was rescheduled for February but Chimaev pulled out from the bout because he was still suffering from the lingering effects of the coronavirus.
He was brought to the United States to get proper treatment and last April, a confident sounding Chimaev said he was feeling better and had already began training. He was eyeing an August return. Last month, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold said that Chimaev turned down two offers to fight him because Borz wanted to make his return at welterweight.
The undefeated All Stars Sweden Gym prospect took the UFC by storm last year when he picked up two UFC wins at different weight classes in a span of 10 days. He would pick up his third consecutive Octagon win last September when he knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in 17 seconds at UFC Fight Night 178. That would turn out to be his last appearance inside the cage.
Li Upsets Ponzinibbio
#UFCFightIsland7 results: Li Jingliang knocks out Santiago Ponzinibbio in first https://t.co/2jG06wDgwr
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) January 16, 2021
Li Jingliang is coming off a first round knockout win over Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Island 7. The hard-hitting Chinese fighter entered the fight as a big underdog at the best UFC betting sites but he ended up flattening the heavily favored Ponzinibbio with one punch inside the first round.
The victory was his fourth in his last five bouts and his 7th UFC knockout, putting him in a tie with the legendary Matt Hughes for 4th place with the most KOs in the history of the UFC welterweight division. Overall, the 33-year old has won eight out of his last 10 bouts and six out of his last eight victories were by stoppage.
Li has a record of 18-6 with nine knockouts and four submission victories. A former Legend FC welterweight champion in his native China, Li is currently the no .12 ranked welterweight in the UFC. Although Chimaev is not unranked right now, a win by Li would be huge for him as Borz is one of the big names in the division.