Khamzat Chimaev stunned the MMA world Monday after he seemingly hinted at his retirement on Instagram. But despite Chimaev's cryptic post, UFC president Dana White said the welterweight isn't retiring.
White, who spoke to Chimaev following his Instagram post, said the fighter is on track to return to the Octagon in June, according to John Morgan of MMA Junkie.
Chimaev shared a photo on Instagram thanking his fans, stating, "I think I'm done" amid a slow recovery from COVID-19.
The 26-year-old, who established himself as one of the UFC's fastest rising stars in 2020, recently withdrew from his main-event fight with Leon Edwards on March 13 due to lingering physical effects caused by COVID-19. He previously tabled his bout against Edwards on Jan. 20 due to struggles with the coronavirus.
White said Chimaev's post stems from the fighter's frustration after attempting to train during his COVID-19 treatment.
"When he got (in Las Vegas for treatment), the doctors took care of him, and they put him on prednisone, which is a nasty f------ steroid," White said, according to Morgan. "So, he's on prednisone, and he's supposed to be taking this thing and chilling, relaxing, and letting himself recover. He went in and f------ trained today, felt like shit, and got super emotional and posted that.
"He's not supposed to be training, but you know, this guy's a savage. He wants to fight every f------ weekend, and now he can't even train. So, he just got emotional and posted that, but he ain't quitting."
Chimaev owns a 9-0 professional record. He finished all three of his UFC opponents last year inside of two rounds, including a 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert in his last fight Sept. 19.