Khamzat Chimaev, since making his promotional debut in 2020, has always represented Sweden. Moving to the Northern European country at the age of 18, Chimaev has been a long-time member of the Allstar Training Center in Stockholm.
However, going forward, the undefeated contender will reportedly represent a different country. Khamzat will now represent the United Arab Emirates, and this change has been highly criticized and called a “Shameless Betrayal.”
Exploring reasons why Khamzat Chimaev not representing Sweden anymore
‘Borz’ will now represent the United Arab Emirates in the UFC from the upcoming UFC 294. Though Chimaev, born in Chechnya, still has strong ties to the country courtesy of his relationship with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.
With his permanent move from Sweden to the UAE, the move should come as no surprise, but a report from @Pelunaton on twitter suggested that there may be some political motivations behind the move.
In 2023, a number of incidents of Quran-burning occurred in Sweden, the most notable of which occurred in June, when an Iraqi Christian refugee ripped out and set fire to pages of the Quran outside the Stockholm Mosque. The incident sparked protests in multiple Muslim countries which only fueled more instances of Quran-burning in both Sweden and Denmark.
Khamzat’s decision to represent United Arab Emirates is only just and fair, being the highly religious man he is, he wouldn’t tolerate his religion being disrespected.
UFC 294, Middleweight, Co-main event: Khamzat Chimaev vs Paulo Costa
UFC 294, scheduled for October 21, will mark the promotion’s return to Abu Dhabi in 2023, headlined by the fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title. Khamzat, representing the United Arab Emirates, will be fighting Paulo Costa in the co-main event. The two middleweights aren’t fond of each other; Costa stated in a recent interview that he hates Khamzat and is training to make him suffer in Abu Dhabi.
The matchup has been brewing for nearly a year, after the pair had a run-in at the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas prior to Chimaev’s UFC 279 victory over Kevin Holland. Borz has even earned the support of the former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, as Izzy said he has no idea who’s going to win but the Nigerian is favoring Khamzat.
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