Khamzat Chimaev says he respects Conor McGregor as an athlete but not as a person.
McGregor is currently out of action due to a leg injury he suffered at UFC 264 in July this year. Since then, the Irishman has consistently landed in controversy. In recent weeks, he had a tussle with American rapper Machine Gun Kelly at the MTV Video Music Awards and allegedly attacked an Italian DJ in a Rome nightclub.
Speaking on the Zuba TV YouTube channel, ‘Borz’ said that while McGregor’s achievements in the UFC are incredible, it’s impossible to respect him.
“Yes, he [McGregor] achieved everything in the UFC. He was a champion in two weight classes. [For] this, I respect him. But it is impossible to respect him as a person.”
Watch Khamzat Chimaev speak about Conor McGregor below:
The unbeaten Chimaev holds a 9-0 record in his professional MMA career. He has competed at middleweight and welterweight. The Russian-born Swede won a Performance of the Night bonus in all three of his UFC fights to date
The 27-year-old also boasts the record for the quickest three-bout winning streak in modern UFC history at just 66 days.
Khamzat Chimaev is scheduled to take on Li Jingliang at UFC 267
The returning Khamzat Chimaev will square off against No.11-ranked welterweight contender Li Jingliang at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi on October 30.
The fight will mark Chimaev’s return to the octagon after more than a year. ‘Borz’ tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of a planned fight with Leon Edwards. Complications and long-lasting effects of the virus have kept the 27-year-old out for the whole of 2021 to date.
He even announced his retirement from the sport in haste, eventually taking back the decision.
Chimaev was in the top-15 welterweight rankings at one point. However, he dropped out due to inactivity. A win over Jingliang next weekend will make him a ranked 170-pound contender yet again.