Anybody, anywhere, any time. That is the motto of Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev. Despite setting modern UFC records by fighting and winning three times within two months, Chimaev’s career has slowed immensely as he has faced a slew of cancellations and slow matchmaking.
“Borz” is closest to the welterweight title, but also expresses interest in both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles. This meant that the outcome of UFC 286 was on Chimaev’s radar, and Colby Covington‘s controversial appearance certainly caught his attention.
In light of the scathing remarks about Chimaev from Covington at UFC 286, Chimaev uploaded a video to his Youtube channel where he stepped out of character with a heartfelt response to Covington’s “lies”.
Khamzat Chimaev Responds to Colby Covington Slander
“So [many lies]. Colby is lying, he doesn’t want to fight. I swear with everything I have, I swear with the Gods,” Chimaev is sincere. “I [accepted] the fight four times. All the Muslims can understand I swear with the Quran. [I got the call four times], ‘do you want the fight?’ and I said yes. I had a conversation with [Sean Selby] as well, so, we’re going to fight with [Covington], but it never happened. There is no more you know, you can lie at the press conference, they make it [like a show]. So for me, I can’t lie to people. I’m real, I am who I am. If they don’t like it, they don’t like who I am.”
Chimaev continued, “[Covington] plays too much. I see him at [the UFC performance institute], when I see him see me, [he runs away and I don’t see him anymore]. Now you know, I’m going up [for other fights with other guys]. If [Colby wants] to fight just come up like me.
Everyone is talking about [me not wanting to fight Covington]… I fight everybody….for me weight class doesn’t matter, if the UFC calls me to fight Brock Lesnar, I’ll fight with him. For me it doesn’t matter, fight anybody, whichever weight class the UFC wants, I’ll fight.”
Khamzat Chimaev: ‘These Chickens, They Lie So Much’
Chimaev saw Covington’s rant as a slight on his character, rather than showmanship:
“I never chose my [fights]. These chickens, they lie so much. So many guys [speak about me on the internet] like, ‘wants to fight Khamzat, wants to fight Khamzat’, [but] I’m still here brother, no fights. Like almost [half a year].”
Chimaev shows his frustration and makes a point of how much of an awkward spot he’s currently found himself in. From his perspective, fighters are more than happy to use his name to build their own brand, but they won’t meet him in the octagon to prove their mettle.
For a fighter with the ‘anybody, anywhere’ mentality such as Chimaev, the exhibitionism and fight politics of the division’s top ranks don’t come naturally.
Chimaev alluded to the fact he is going to fight in the heavier-weight divisions from now on, so a fight with Covington is possibly off the cards. If Chimaev’s remarks about Covington avoiding the fights sound true, then it’s hard to disagree with this decision.