Khamzat Chimaev will fight for the first time in more than a year when he aims to repeat his early victories in Abu Dhabi by taking on Chinese welterweight Li Jingliang, ending the Chechen-born UFC powerhouse’s Covid-19 ordeal.
The UAE’s second most populous city is special to the contender, as it is where he started out in the UFC by beating John Phillips and Rhys McKee within ten days last July.
He will take on 17-6 Jingliang at UFC 27 on October 30 as part of a card that is still yet to be confirmed and announced, according to MMA Junkie.
Due to a long battle with Covid that almost forced him into retirement, Chimaev has not been seen in the octagon since September last year.
Confirmed, UFC working on Khamzat Chimaev's (@KChimaev) return against Li Jingliang (@UfcJingliang) for UFC 267 in October. Not signed, but both sides are agreeable to it, per sources. The Wolf vs. The Leech at 170 pounds.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 9, 2021
The 9-0 unbeaten prospect, born in Chechnya but fighting out of the All Stars Gym in Sweden, was on his way to becoming a fan favorite after requiring just 17 seconds to KO Gerald Meerschaert at Fight Night 178.
That landed him a clash against welterweight contender Leon Edwards in Abu Dhabi, which then fell through numerous times thanks to each man contracting Covid-19.
Despite the six losses on his record, Jingliang is no pushover. Winning eight of his last 10 fights, he is on a high after upsetting Argentine Santiago Ponzinibbio in the first round in January, which landed him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Elsewhere on the card, Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira will do battle for the Pole’s light heavyweight title strap, and Amanda Ribas will face Virna Jandiroba.
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