UFC contender Khamzat Chimaev is expected to go under the knife, which will sideline him for the next few months.
Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) tore a ligament in his right hand during the first round of his close decision win over Kamaru Usman this past October at UFC 294. During a recent Instagram Live (h/t MMA Crazy), Chimaev provided an update on his return.
“I’m going to do a surgery, operation in one, two weeks,” Chimaev said. “After that, do the recovery, come back, smash somebody.”
Chimaev vs. Usman was considered a No. 1 contender fight at middleweight by UFC CEO Dana White, but Chimaev’s injury opened the door for Dricus Du Plessis, who has a title shot coming up vs. middleweight champ Sean Strickland.
The pair will headline UFC 297 on Jan. 20 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Strickland was never sold on Chimaev being a deserving title challenger after he edged out Usman a former welterweight champ who’d never competed at 185 pounds.
When asked about returning at UFC 300 in April, Chimaev was open to the idea.
“Tell Dana White (to) make that happen,” Chimaev said.
Chimaev’s past three wins have come in an all-out war with former title challenger Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, a quick submission over Kevin Holland at UFC 279 and most recently a majority decision over Usman in his return to middleweight.