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22 Aug, 2021 17:41

Russian sensation Chimaev set for octagon return after Covid-enforced absence with spot on stacked UFC 267 card

Russian sensation Chimaev set for octagon return after Covid-enforced absence with spot on stacked UFC 267 card

UFC welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev is set to make his long-awaited comeback to the octagon at UFC 267 on October 30, with the feared 9-0 prospect tipped to meet Li Jingliang in Abu Dhabi.

Chimaev uploaded a poster from combat sports outlet MMA Junkie to his Instagram account on Sunday, which has already received over 77,000 likes from his 2.7 million followers.

With the card set to be the first non-pay-per-view numbered UFC event since UFC 138 in 2011, the Sweden-based Chechen star has a chance to boost his popularity even further with fight fans that usually wouldn't have access to his bouts.

For those already familiar with the 27-year-old and his explosive style, which usually sees him finish fights in the first or second round via KO or submission, the news will come as music to their ears.

After three fights in just two months when debuting in the UFC, he was set for a fourth clash at UFC Fight Night 183 in December against fellow title hopeful Leon Edwards before contracting Covid.

The hotly-anticipated meeting was rearranged a further two times in January and March only to be canceled due to further coronavirus complications for either man, with Chimaev dramatically announcing his retirement in the latter month stating lung issues.

Also on rt.com Back from the brink? Chechen head Kadyrov says he’s persuaded Chimaev to reignite UFC title dream for ‘millions of fans in Russia’

President Dana White and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov both doing their best to talk him round, though, Chimaev is finally set to resume his career.

Nursing an 18-6 record, his next foe Jingliang is no pushover and was last in action in January when dispatching Argentine Santiago Ponzinibbio in the first round at UFC Fight Island 7.

Further up the card at UFC 267, a championship match double-header sees Jan Blachowicz defend his light heavyweight crown against Glover Teixeira, and Petr Yan finally get a chance to recapture his bantamweight strap lost to Aljamain Sterling by disqualification following the Jamaican-American's recovery from neck surgery.