Breakthrough UFC star Khamzat Chimaev once flew to Ireland in an attempt to fight Conor McGregor.
Chimaev, who has wasted no time in capturing the imagination of MMA fans with his pair of quickfire appearances on Yas Island, revealed that he wanted to confront Conor McGregor in the streets or at his gym for some insults about the Irishman’s rival, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
McGregor has held nothing back in his comments about Nurmagomedov and the undefeated Dagestani fighter’s stablemates but Chimaev didn’t take kindly to them at the time.
“At that time, I was fighting as an amateur or a pro record of 1-0 when that happened,” Chimaev explained in an interview with Russian reporter Adam Zubayraev.
True story I flew to Ireland before Khabib fight to beat up Conor mcgregor for what he said about our honor but they would not let me in the country. You need big security @TheNotoriousMMA weak man
— Khamzat Chimaev (@KChimaev) July 29, 2020
“It is that time when he insulted Khabib, and he also was talking about Zubaira (Tukhugov). At that time, nobody knew who I was. He was also talking about another guy who’s also Chechen. I don’t remember his name, but he told us he knocked him out in a sparring session.
“My mind was blowing up at the moment, but I’m living here very close to him. I was thinking that I would catch him in the streets or at the gym and beat him up. This is what he deserved.”
There were rumours at the time that Chimaev may be travelling to Ireland to help McGregor prepare for Nurmagomedov with sparring but Chimaev insists he made the journey in a bid “to protect our pride and honour.”
The undefeated welterweight prospect made it as far as Dublin Airport but was stopped by authorities before he could seek out ‘The Notorious’.
“Yes, I landed in Ireland and waited in an airport,” Chimaev continued. “First, they stopped me a while, and then slightly they told me to go. Then I was going out. When I was going out from the airport, they stopped me again.
“That time, there were guys literally in uniform. … Yes, there were (special forces), and they told me, ‘You cannot go anywhere.’ But I didn’t get what they meant. At that time, my English was very bad. Even right now, it’s not that good. … They drove me to the police station and kept me for eight hours.
Khamzat Chimaev is just a monster 💪
The first thing he did was pick Rhys McKee up and carry him to his corner so he could work his GNP in front of the opposition team 😳 pic.twitter.com/8hs6zLBTyx
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) July 26, 2020
“No, there wasn’t any interrogation at all. I was just kept in a cell. I waited for maybe eight or nine hours. I was doing push-ups and squats. They didn’t even bring me food. Then after a while, they told me, ‘You have to go back to Sweden.’ They continued, ‘We’ll bring you back to the airport where the plane is waiting for you.’ They brought me back to airport and sent me back home.”
Chimaev has already earned many fans with his impressive start to life in the Octagon, dominating fellow European fighters John Phillips and Rhys McKee by a combined strike differential of 192-2 and he has already gone back and forth with McGregor on social media. Although the odds of McGregor vs. Chimaev actually coming to fruition in the UFC are undoubtedly slim.