‘I never expected anything from him’: Ex-champ Khabib Nurmagomedov plays down remarks by UFC’s Chimaev and Chechen leader Kadyrov
UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov has played down talk of tensions with current sensation Khamzat Chimaev, adding that he has never met the man who appeared to threaten him before rowing with his cousin earlier this month.
Chechen-born brawler Chimaev caused controversy when he claimed he would "tear apart" Nurmagomedov, the unbeaten Russian lightweight champion who retired from the sport in October.
Nurmagomedov's cousin, Abubakar, appeared to react angrily to Chimaev's words, which were made in response to a series of remarks by Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader who has become friends with Chimaev.
Kadyrov seemed to suggest Nurmagomedov had been reluctant to appear under the Russian and Dagestani flags and claim that he was a "UFC project".Also on rt.com ‘Be careful’: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin Abubakar warns Chimaev after Chechen-born UFC star promises to ‘tear apart’ ex-champ
Fellow UFC fighter Abubakar then told Chimaev to "be careful" before the 27-year-old responded on social media with more than one faintly confrontational reply of his own, only to subsequently delete the posts.
Nurmagomedov, who had been thought to hold a cordial relationship with Kadyrov that had reportedly extended to the politician gifting him a car, played down the reports.
"I just didn't think that it was all necessary to react to this or something else," he told reporters.
"Every person has their own opinion, so let it be. I did not watch the live broadcast of Ramzan Kadyrov, I just read what you [media] write. How did I feel? Nothing. The whole world is discussing me. I do not see any insults in the expression 'UFC project'."
The sporting icon said that Kadyrov had made reference to one of his UFC opponents, Al Iaquinta, also working in property.Also on rt.com Kham to Chechnya: UFC’s Chimaev chills with leader Kadyrov and MMA fighters in his homeland... and eyes another luxury car (VIDEO)
"The fact of his work as a realtor was known," he added. "Everyone who wanted to underestimate my merits wrote about it. But at the time of the fight with me, Al had five victories in a row – no-one took that into account."
Cynics who suspect Chimaev of whipping up drama to continued to build his profile might not be surprised by Nurmagomedov's comments on 'Borz'.
“I didn't have any disappointment in Chimaev," he said. "I have never seen this person. We talked with him on the phone a couple of times.
"You know, disappointment happens when you expect something from a person, some kind of return. But I never expected anything from Chimaev. If he thinks [things], let him write – that is his right."Also on rt.com ‘Amen’: MMA fighters back UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov after he asks his millions of fans to pray for ‘oppressed Palestinians’