Swedish mixed martial arts (MMA) UFC fighter Hamza Chimaev, of Russian origin, has decided to emigrate from the Scandinavian country and change his sporting identity by representing the UAE.
Mehdi Chammas, Khamza Chimaev’s agent, said in statements to SVT Sport TV: “He (Chimaev) immigrated from Sweden and is no longer Swedish.”
As it later turned out, Khamzat Chimaev received an Emirati passport and will now represent this country in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), and on October 21 he will perform under the flag of the new country in a fight against the Brazilian Paulo Costa. 2023, as part of the UFC 294 tournament, which will be held in the capital of Abu Dhabi.
Shammas explained: “Why did he do it? He wanted to leave. He did it a long time ago, a few weeks ago.”
Khamza Chimaev, nicknamed “Wolf,” was born on May 1, 1994 in a village in the Chechen Republic, spent his childhood and youth in Russia, mastered wrestling in his native republic and even competed in regional competitions. At the age of nineteen, the athlete and his family decided to travel abroad in search of a better life. Many residents of the Middle East, Africa and other regions also resort to the help of Europe, and the choice fell on Sweden, where they could gain a foothold there and obtain refugee status .
But Chimaev began to seriously master mixed martial arts and professionalism in this northern country, so no one was surprised that he was introduced as a Swedish athlete. However, the fighter did not forget his native land even after gaining fame in the UFC. Hamza, although officially a refugee, was not at all afraid to come to Russia and visit the President of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov. For this reason, the Swedish media tried to accuse “Wolf” of political maneuvers, but the fighter was not seduced or affected by the provocation, and he made it clear that he was an athlete and not a politician.
It can be assumed that Chimaev only respects his native republic, denies any connection with the rest of Russia and, like another UFC fighter Mukhamed Mukaev, calls himself a Dagestani, but constantly repeats that Russia cannot be mentioned next to his name. Being a representative of Britain, but with “Wolf” the situation is different.
Khamzat Chimaev has many fans in Russia, but not everyone considers him one of them, because in the international arena he was known precisely as a representative of Sweden. The famous former Russian champion Khabib Nurmagomedov himself preferred not to enter the cage with the Russian flag, but in all UFC tournaments and in all classifications his name appeared as a representative of Russia.
Khamzat Chimaev said in an interview with a YouTube channel: “You can say that I represent Russia. Because every Chechen walks with a Russian passport. The population in Russia of all nationalities has one passport. We can say that everyone is Russian.” »
Now Chimaev has decided to change his sporting identity, and although he stated that he represents Russia, he chose to represent the UAE in mixed martial arts (MMA) tournaments.
It’s interesting, of course, that anyone can get an Emirati passport in a few weeks, but in the case of a high-level fighter, this shouldn’t be surprising.
In any case, Hamza Chimaev is not new to the Emirates; out of 12 fights, he spent four in this country, while in Sweden at official tournaments he participated in only two fights, and then at the beginning of his professional career. , where only a few people knew him. .
The Middle East is currently experiencing a sports boom: while Saudi Arabia is obsessed with football, the Emirates regularly hosts UFC mixed martial arts tournaments, and Abu Dhabi has become a real competitor to the city of Las Vegas in the US state of Nevada.