The injury occurred during a dominant first round which saw Chimaev receive 10-8 scores across the board against the former welterweight champion, who accepted the fight on short notice after Paulo Costa was forced off the card due to a staph infection in his elbow. Chimaev initially feared that he may have broken his hand, which hampered his offense for the remainder of the fight.
Instead, Chimaev has a torn ligament in his hand, his manager Majdi Shammas confirmed to MMA Fighting on Sunday, stating that the Chechen fighter will need to wear a brace for the next three to four weeks before beginning rehabilitation. It’s not expected that Chimaev will need surgery to repair the damage done, but the injury will be reassessed in a few weeks after the brace is removed.
News of Chimaev’s injury was first reported by ESPN.
The hard-fought win for Chimaev kept his undefeated record intact, but more importantly he was promised a middleweight title shot with the victory. UFC CEO Dana White made the announcement prior to the event, however the UFC has yet to make an official decision.
If it happens, it would set up Chimaev to battle new champion Sean Strickland sometime in 2024. For now, though, Chimaev will rest and recover from the hand injury while awaiting word from the UFC on his title shot chances in the new year.