In 2018, BRAVE Combat Federation signed a relatively unknown fighter with only two fights under his belt and less than six months of professional experience. The vote of confidence was not unjustified, though, as this man had been praised by his teammates, steamrolled his competition, and impressed some of the biggest names in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. His name was Khamzat Chimaev.
With his origins in the region of the Caucasus, Khamzat Chimaev is based in Stockholm, Sweden, where he trains out one of the most prestigious European MMA teams: Allstars Training Center, under head coach Andreas Michael's guidance.
On the mats of Allstars Training Center, Khamzat Chimaev was accompanied by some iconic Mixed Martial Arts names, such as Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, Ilir “The Sledgehammer” Latifi, Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi, and many, many others. Those were some of the people who vouched for Chimaev’s talent back in the day and told impressive stories about his development as a mixed martial artist inside the gym.
The professional debut came in May 2018, and Chimaev needed less than 10 minutes to knock Gard Olve Sagen out, via ground and pound, and prove that all the hype around his name was real.
Less than three months later, “Borz”, as he is also known as, was back inside the cage once again and used his second bout to show versatility. Another dominant performance, this time against Ole Magnor, ended within the very first round with a rear-naked choke submission.
The chance then came for Khamzat Chimaev to take the leap and join the big leagues, an invitation from BRAVE Combat Federation to take part on its yearly massive Bahrain card. In November 2019, still without much alarm, Chimaev made his promotional debut in the very first bout of BRAVE CF 18 card, against Austria’s Marko Kisic.
In less than three and a half minutes, Khamzat put on another stellar performance and got another first-round finish to his record. The TKO, which sent Kisic straight to the hospital with a broken jaw, was evidence that the Swedish could live up to the hype and fast-track his way up the Welterweight division.
VIDEO - Khamzat Chimaev debuts for BRAVE CF
But "Borz" wasn’t aiming the gold at only one division. Seeing the opportunity to stay active, and yet to complete his first full year as a professional he took on one of the rising stars of BRAVE Combat Federation back then, America’s Sidney Wheeler, on short notice and in a Middleweight contest.
It was December 2018, roughly a month after Chimaev debut under BRAVE CF’s banner, and the Swedish prospect was headlining his first card, with just a couple of weeks to get ready for the toughest challenge so far. Khamzat, as he proved many times before and later, rose to the occasion and put on yet another outstanding performance, knocking Sidney Wheeler out in 35 seconds.
WATCH - Chimaev headlines BRAVE CF 20
By that time, Khamzat Chimaev’s fame preceded him, and he was already seen as one of the most feared, if not the most dangerous man within BRAVE CF’s Welterweight and Middleweight divisions. It took another terrifying fighter to accept step inside the cage against the Allstars Training product.
This man was the then-undefeated Ikram Aliskerov, a sambo champion that had obliterated the competition so far. The duel, that was broken down by specialist as a live chess match between two very distinct athletes with complementary skills, ended up being a monologue by Khamzat Chimaev and ended up with one the most brutal finishes in BRAVE Combat Federation history, a walk-off knockout delivered straight to the chin, courtesy of a precise and demolishing uppercut from Chimaev.
“Fight fire with fire”, they say, and the ultimate test for Chimaev would be another knockout artist, someone that could also drop anyone with a single hit. That was Mzwandile Hlongwa, author of one of the most replicated and praised KO’s of 2018 with a scary spinning elbow to the face. Once again, Chimaev’s versatility was brought into the picture and the Swedish got an arm-triangle choke, submitting Hlongwa in the second round.
With 100% finish-ratio and a perfect record, alongside dominant performances and highlight moves, Khamzat Chimaev was then promised a title fight against the Welterweight world champion Jarrah Al Selawe, which he patiently waits in order to take over the position that he feels is rightfully his by the unique combination of apparently unlimited potential and consistent results.