Ahead of his highly anticipated fight against Li Jing Liang this Saturday at UFC 267, Khamzat Chimaev, told Russian freelance reporter Adam Zubayraev about a story dating back to 2018 when he claims he flew to Ireland to beat up Conor McGregor, but ended up getting arrested shortly after arriving in Ireland.
Chechnya’s Chimaev says he intended on giving McGregor ‘what he deserved’ for the way he insulted Khabib Nurmagomedov in the lead up to UFC 229.
“At that time, I was fighting as an amateur or a pro record of 1-0 when that happened,” Chimaev told the Russian reporter.
“It is that time when he insulted Khabib, and he also was talking about Zubaira (Tukhugov).”
“At that time, nobody knew who I was. He was also talking about another guy who’s also Chechen. I don’t remember his name, but he told us he knocked him out in a sparring session.”
“My mind was blowing up at the moment, but I’m living here (in Sweden) very close to him. I was thinking that I would catch him in the streets or at the gym and beat him up. This is what he deserved.”
Chimaev proceeded to fly to Ireland in pursuit of McGregor, but says he was arrested by special forces shortly after setting foot outside the airport.
“I landed in Ireland and waited in an airport.
“First, they stopped me a while, and then slightly they told me to go. Then I was going out. When I was going out from the airport, they stopped me again. That time, there were guys literally in uniform. … Yes, there were (special forces), and they told me, ‘You cannot go anywhere.’
“But I didn’t get what they meant. At that time, my English was very bad. Even right now, it’s not that good. … They drove me to the police station and kept me for eight hours.”
According to Chimaev, he underwent a brief holding period before ultimately being sent back home to Sweden by Irish authorities.
“No, there wasn’t any interrogation at all,” he said. “I was just kept in a cell. I waited for maybe eight or nine hours. I was doing push-ups and squats.
“They didn’t even bring me food. Then after a while, they told me, ‘You have to go back to Sweden. We’ll bring you back to the airport where the plane is waiting for you.’ They brought me back to airport and sent me back home.”
“Honestly speaking, I wanted to beat him up. Many people thought I was coming there to help him prepare for Khabib… not for Khabib.
“I was coming there to protect our pride and honour. I was going there for all of us. If that would not have happened, I would have maybe thrown, I don’t know, some object. … I think I was able to stand for myself.”