This post originally appeared on RT Sport News
Purported footage has emerged of a damaged Mercedes said to belong to rising UFC star Khamzat Chimaev, with the Chechen-born fighter reportedly escaping unscathed after crashing the car in the capital city of Grozny.
Unbeaten promotion newcomer Chimaev posed with his Mercedes, which appeared to be identical to the one in the crash, earlier in the day, wishing his Instagram following of more than 2.4 million good morning in a post tagged in Chechnya.
A Chechen news account later posted the video of a car with its front badly damaged from an apparent collision with a barrier, showing a crowd of people and what looked like emergency services in attendance.
“Khamzat Chimaev had an accident yesterday,” the caption to the clip said, accruing thousands of views. “Khamzat himself was not injured.”
Kadyrov was reported to have given Chimaev’s Mercedes to him when the pair met in January, making a similar gesture to his gift to former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who he gave another Mercedes to after the Russian legend beat Conor McGregor in 2018.
Chimaev has had a testing year, seeing his scheduled fight with Leon Edwards called off as ‘Borz’ battled to overcome a bout of Covid-19.
Despite starting his UFC career with three wins in less than two months last year, his illness has halted Chimaev’s rapid progress towards a title shot and even caused him to court thoughts of retirement.
The 26-year-old posted a message saying that he felt he was “done” with MMA in March, although UFC president Dana White moved swiftly to scotch talk of the man he had tipped for the top dispensing with the sport, dismissing his words as “super-emotional”.
Kadyrov then announced that he had persuaded Chimaev not to call it a day on behalf of “millions of fans in Russia”.
“Khamzat said that the recovery from illness is slow and, trying to be honest and frank with the fans, he decided not to give them hope,” Kadyrov explained at the time.
“If fans need to wait for his return, then we will all look forward to his entry into the octagon with trepidation and patience.”