Change of Chimaev's citizenship
In MMA, the change of sports citizenship is an extremely rare and not the most discussed phenomenon. In professionals, national team tournaments are not held, and many fighters even consider themselves to be from several countries at once. So, Valentina Shevchenko went to duels with the flags of Kyrgyzstan and Peru, Aljamain Sterling - the United States and Jamaica, the two states are actually represented by Israel Adesanya - a native of Nigeria, who moved to New Zealand at a young age.
Against this background, the situation with Khamzat Chimaev stands apart, who, after many years of playing for Sweden, preferred to defend the colors of the UAE. This decision was announced to the SVT portal by the athlete's manager Maidi Shammas. According to him, the 29-year-old athlete left Scandinavia a few weeks ago and moved to the Middle East. At the same time, he did not specify why he took such a step.
It is possible that the reason for this was a series of incidents with the public burning of the Koran in Sweden. Since the beginning of the year, several such actions have been carried out in the country, which caused an angry reaction from Muslims. However, the authorities refused to intervene in any way in this situation and did not impose a ban on the public destruction of sacred religious books, as they did in Denmark.
The change of citizenship, obviously, will affect the training process of Chimaev. The fighter has already published a photo with the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, from the Akhmat MMA hall, in which he may well settle. After all, now you don't have to count on returning to the Stockholm Allstars. Thus, he will prepare for the upcoming battle with Paulo Costa in new conditions. And it's extremely curious to see how this will affect his performance.
While Chimaev expresses confidence in the victory over Costa and is already thinking about a fight with the newly minted middleweight champion Sean Strickland, the former title holder risks being behind bars. The other day, Adesanya pleaded guilty to drunk driving and is now awaiting a court decision in this case. The final verdict will be handed down on January 10, and as a maximum punishment he faces three months in prison and a fine of $ 2680.
The incident occurred in Auckland on August 19 - exactly three weeks before the battle with Strickland. According to media reports, Israel was returning home from friends when he was stopped by the police for a "random check." As the analysis subsequently showed, 100 mg of alcohol accounted for 87 ml of blood.
Adesanya himself apologized to the community, family and crew for the decision to drive while intoxicated. The middleweight said that he considers this behavior unacceptable and regrets his act. He also fears that some people may follow suit.
Thus, a potential fight with Strickland hung in the air. Officially, the UFC has not yet announced it, but many in the media hastened to call it a fait accompli, and bookmakers recognized Adesanya as the favorite of a possible confrontation. True, many of the active fighters did not agree with this. The second number of the middle division, Dricus Du Plessis, considered that Israel was not worthy to get revenge right away, was surprised by such favor from the promoters and Aljamain Sterling. In August, he lost the belt to Sean O'Malley, but did not get a chance to regain the title right away.
The Polish lightweight, who defeated Rafael Fiziev in the main battle of UFC Fight Night 228, also received a portion of criticism from colleagues and fans. The Azerbaijani won the first round according to all three judges, but in the second he unsuccessfully stumbled after performing a kick and tore his cruciate ligament, after which he could no longer resist Mateusz Gamrot. He attacked his opponent and forced the referee to intervene.
But the public was outraged not by the finishing off of the injured Fiziev, but by Gamrot's reaction to the victory. He began to celebrate the success of the injured counterpart very violently. While the frustrated Rafael held on to his knee, Mateusz ran around the octagon and rejoiced in the triumph, and then tried several times to break through to the opponent, but the guards did not let him in.
By the announcement of the official verdict, Gamrot calmed down a little and behaved more respectfully, and then even wished Fiziev good health and admitted that he was counting on a different end to the confrontation. But it was too late. So, former light heavyweight champion Jamal Hill expressed dissatisfaction with the behavior of the Pole. In his opinion, dancing in a cage after a victory with a smell is extremely disrespectful.
One way or another, now Fiziev will have a long recovery period from injury, and Gamrot will face a new challenge. And although he himself expressed a desire to fight for the belt with Islam Makhachev, he named another possible opponent. According to him, in the future he would like to face off with the closest rival of the Russian - Charles Oliveira. True, this will be possible only if the Russian wins at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi. After all, Mateusz clearly did not deserve the opportunity to compete for the trophy yet. First in line behind him is Justin Gaethje.
Yan's pause and Ulanbekov's new fight
In the near future, Petr Yan is unlikely to be able to fight for the title. For two and a half years, he lost four fights out of five and not only lost the bantamweight belt, but also dropped to fifth place in the ranking. Moreover, the defeat from Merab Dvalishvili was crushing. Then the Russian struck almost half as many significant blows (75:147) and missed 11 takedowns, losing on the cards of all three judges with a score of 45:50.
Six months have passed since then, but there is no news about Yan's return to the octagon yet. Moreover, it may not take place until the end of 2023. This was stated by the president of the Yekaterinburg league RCC Nikolay Klimenko.
"In December, as I understand it, he will definitely not fight. First of all, you need [Peter] to come back, and it doesn't matter with whom. At the moment, he is undergoing rehabilitation and recovery. He's not in the race he was in now. I know that he had a lot of injuries. I myself was present at many of his fights, and [Yan] was not in the form in which many people think," Klymenko was quoted as saying by Metaratings.
The words of the head of the RCC are at odds with the information that appeared in the media at the end of August. Then TASS, citing an unnamed source in Peter's team, reported on his intention to fight at the end of this year. At the same time, Klimenko believes that a pause can benefit the Russian.
"Now there is no race for the title, and [Yan] can calmly approach the next fight. I am sure that no matter who he fights, he always has a chance to break into the top," the functionary added.
But soon the next fight will be held by Tagir Ulanbekov. The flyweight representative was going to fight Jake Hadley in August, but was forced to withdraw from the show due to a leg injury. He was replaced by Cody Darden and won by unanimous decision, extending his successful streak to four fights.
And now Ulanbekov and Darden will have to identify the strongest in the octagon. Their face-to-face fight is scheduled for UFC 296, which will be held on December 16 in Las Vegas. It will be crowned by two title battles at once. In one of them, Alexander Pantoja will make the first defense of the flyweight belt in a battle with Brandon Royval, in the other, welterweight stars Leon Edwards and Colby Covington will meet.