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UFC star Khamzat Chimaev says it is 'impossible to respect' Conor McGregor after the Irishman's latest scandal

Insider
Insider
 2021-10-21

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Conor McGregor.
  • Khamzat Chimaev respects Conor McGregor as a fighter, but not as a person.
  • The MMA super prospect's comment follows another scandal-laden week for the Irishman.
  • Chimaev, who suffered long COVID, returns to the UFC Octagon next week.

UFC star Khamzat Chimaev said it is "impossible to respect" Conor McGregor just days after the Irishman's latest scandal.

The former two-weight UFC champion McGregor was accused of assault last weekend by Italian DJ Francesco Facchinetti, who says that McGregor punched him at a late-night party during a family vacation in Rome, Italy.

"I took a punch for nothing," Facchinetti said, according to a rough translation of posts on his social media accounts..

"That punch could go to anyone. My friends, my wife, or other friends. That's why I decided to sue Conor McGregor because he is a violent and dangerous person."

Insider sought comment from a McGregor spokesperson regarding the allegation but never received a reply.

Speaking this week, Chimaev told Zuba TV, in quotes translated from Russian by Championat : "Do I like Conor exactly as an athlete? Yes, he achieved everything in the UFC - he was a champion in two weight classes. This I respect with him.

"But it is impossible to respect him as a person."

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Khamzat Chimaev.

Chimaev is one of the most exciting combatants in mixed martial arts.

He stormed onto the scene in 2020 when he produced two perfect performances on "Fight Island" in Abu Dhabi last summer in a 10-day span - a UFC record.

Having displayed suppressive wrestling skills in the United Arab Emirates, Chimaev returned to the Octagon later in the year at the UFC's Las Vegas property Apex, and scored a 17-second, one-punch knockout .

The 27-year-old's ascent to the top of MMA was interrupted because of a particularly ghastly case of long COVID , with Chimaev coughing up blood, receiving treatment, and suffering so badly that he openly contemplated retirement from fighting .

A phone call from Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadryov seemingly forced Chimaev to change his mind and he refocused on competing professionally midway through 2021.

Months later Chimaev was seen on video sparring Kadryov , and it became clear the athlete could return to UFC by the end of the summer.

Chimaev, unbeaten in nine pro bouts, fights Jingliang Li - his first opponent since overcoming the coronavirus - at the UFC 267 event on October 30 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

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