Khamzat Chimaev is back at Tiger Muay Thai. The undefeated Swedish fighter will be looking to challenge for a UFC title in 2023 and has returned to Phuket to prepare for his next fight.

Chimaev is coming off a win at UFC 279 but he caused chaos by missing weight by 8.5lbs ahead of that fight. That required the promotion to reshuffle the card with Nate Diaz eventually facing Tony Ferguson instead of the undefeated Swedish fighter.

Chimaev had originally been booked to face Diaz but got matched with Kevin Holland in a catchweight contest instead, winning by first round submission. He remains the #3 ranked welterweight but could be set to move up a division.


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Nothing booked

Fans will be fascinated to find out who Chimaev will be fighting next and in what division. But according to Tiger Muay Thai he doesn’t currently have a fight booked with the Phuket gym stating that,

Khamzat  is now back here to stay sharp while awaiting his next bout to be confirmed.

He remains one of the fastest rising stars on the UFC roster and has emerged as a real fan favourite due to his aggressive approach to fighting. But Chimaev has also courted controversy after repeatedly being photographed with Ramzan Kadyrov and his sons.

Kadyrov is the president of Chechnya, where Chimaev was born. He has been accused of massive human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, kidnapping, and the persecution of homosexuals and face a laundry list of sanctions.


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Undefeated star

Kadyrov’s MMA promotion, Absolute Championship Akhmat, was forced to cancel plans to expand all over Europe with international events. Its YouTube channel was also taken down due to the sanctions.

But Chimaev’s association with the sanctioned Chechen warlord does not seem to have damaged his status as a UFC fan favourite. He has won six fights out of six for the promotion with all but one of those victories coming inside the distance.

The only fight that did go the distance was a memorable back and forth war with Gilvert Burns at UFC 273 which saw both men pick up $50,000 USD performance bonuses. That was Chimaev’s last fight at 170lbs and it will be interesting to see whether he returns to the division where he made his name.

While he might not have a fight booked the 28 year old is clearly training hard and will be looking to extend his undefeated streak even further in 2023.