UFC’s rising star Khamzat Chimaev will return to action this weekend at UFC 273 against welterweight contender Gilbert Burns.
To prepare for the event, Chimaev trained with top contenders like Jiri Prochazka and Alexander Gustafsson, Chimaev has also been joined by former UFC title challenger Darren Till who will also be cornering.
However, Chimaev will have some challenges coming into UFC 273, as he will be training during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
For those who aren’t aware, Muslims are required to fast from sunrise until sunset during Ramadan, with the exact hour varying depending on where do you live.
A closer look at Chimaev’s pro record reveals that he was in a somewhat similar situation when he made his professional debut. Back in 2018 Ramadan lasted until May 16th – just 10 days before Chimaev made his professional debut. He won convincingly with the bout finishing in round 2 via TKO.
To put it simply, Muslims are prohibited to eat, drink, or even inject any kind of substances into their body during the day for a whole month.
While other Muslim athletes like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Muhammad Mokaev refused to book bouts during Ramadan, there are others who are fighting during the holy month.
Muslim boxer Julian Williams won the WBA & IBF world titles against Jarret Hurd during Ramadan back in May 2019.
In the UFC, welterweight contender Belal Muhammad also fought several times while fasting during the day, claiming it made him mentally stronger.
“I’m still training during the day with no water, no food, and I feel like my body adjusts to it after a couple of days and I feel like it just makes me that much stronger mentally. Like if you can push yourself with no water, no food and then once you get to fight time and you get that food and water, it’s going to be the easiest thing in the world. You can go through anything at that point.” he said.
The fasting itself would arguably help Chimaev in cutting weight for the fight, and it won’t interfere with the drinking during the fight as it takes place at night.
The anticipation is at an all time high. Burns and Chimaev will be squaring off during the weekend. It remains to be seen if the fasting did really affect the performance of the so called ‘Borz’ Khamzat Chimaev.