Khamzat Chimaev fires a warning to his UFC welterweight rivals and insists ‘I’m the champ here’ as he prepares to return to the octagon after his battle with Covid-19 that briefly threatened retirementKhamzat Chimaev was set to fight British welterweight contender Leon Edwards¬†But three potential dates were called off due to both suffering from coronavirus¬†Chimaev does not know his next opponent but is targeting a return this summerEvery other top welterweight has at least one defeat on their professional recordBut ‘Chechen Wolf’ Chimaev has gone 9-0 in MMA and called out divisional rivals

Khamzat Chimaev has taken aim at his welterweight rivals ahead of his UFC return following his battle with Covid-19.

Undefeated Chimaev, 26, who has gone 9-0 in MMA and won all three of his amateur fights, has not been in the cage since late 2020 due to continuing coronavirus symptoms.

He knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in just 17 seconds in September, and was due to fight British welterweight contender Leon Edwards in a high-level clash.

Welterweight contender Khamzat Chimaev (pictured) has called out his UFC divisional rivals

UFC boss Dana White (right) set up a fight v Leon Edwards but it was cancelled due to Covid-19

However, three dates were called off due to both testing positive for the virus, and UFC moved on from the bout, with ‘Rocky’ instead facing Belal Muhammad in March, finishing as a no contest after an accidental eye poke.

Despite announcing his retirement, the now-recovered Russian-born fighter is keen to return to the octagon in summer 2021.

After veteran Neil Magny turned down a potential clash, ‘Borz’ (meaning Chechen Wolf), who does not know his next opponent, fired a warning at welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and all his fellow divisional rivals.

Chimaev is the only top welterweight contender without a defeat on his professional record

Chimaev set a record for the fastest consecutive wins in UFC history across 10 days last year

He said on Twitter:¬†‘All of you have lost, I’m undefeated and I’m the champ here.’

‘Nigerian Nighmare’ Usman has an 18-1 record, with that single blemish coming in a loss against Jose Caceres back in May 2013.

Other top welterweight contenders including Jorge Masvidal, Edwards, Colby Covington, Stephen Thompson, Gilbert Burns and Michael Chiesa all have at least one defeat on their record.

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