Khamzat Chimaev targets return at UFC Saudi Arabia, reveals why he turned down UFC 300

Khamzat Chimaev confirms he was reached out to for UFC 300.

Chimaev’s most recent octagon appearance came this past October at UFC 294, where he edged out former welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in a middleweight bout, which was declared as No. 1 contender by White.

Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who has bounced around both welterweight and middleweight, is currently eyeing his next fight for UFC Saudi Arabia, which was announced for June 22 in Riyadh.

“In the summer, I think – in the summer, we’ll be back,” Chimaev said in an interview with FCR MMA. “I want to fight in Saudi Arabia, but I don’t think anybody wants to fight me there. We’ll see what’s going to happen, so (I’m) just waiting for something.”

Prior to announcing the light heavyweight title fight between champion Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill for the UFC 300 main event, the promotion was scrambling for the headliner. UFC CEO Dana White says welterweight champion Leon Edwards agreed to every fight offer, which seemingly included Chimaev.

While Chimaev says the offer to fight Edwards April 13 wasn’t finalized, several factors played into why he turned down the offer.

“They wanted me to fight at (UFC) 300, but I said it’s too short time for (170 pounds),” Chimaev continued. “I need a bit of time. (The Edwards fight) wasn’t 100 percent sure, but my manager said maybe, maybe not. My brother said to me, ‘Not in Ramadan.’ After Ramadan, we’ll take some time, camp and then we’ll fight anyone.”

Ramadan is a month where practicing Muslims fast with no food or water from the first light of dawn until the setting of the sun. This year, Ramadan begins March 10 and ends April 9, just days before UFC 300.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie