It seems that the “Borz” who was calling out every active and retired athlete has drawn a line. In a Hustle MMA podcast, Khamzat Chimaev, the rising star of the UFC, explained why he refused to go on a podcast invite by Mike Tyson, a media outlet frequented by the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Oscar De La Hoya, Claressa Shields and other notable personalities in the fighting world.
When asked about the reason, Khamzat said, “I didn’t have much desire to do that. As a fighter, an athlete, I really like him. But I don’t like what all happened with him; the violence, the pills, the marijuana, then Muslims, it’s strange. But I still respect him. Both, as a fighter and a person.”
Khamzat went on to say, “he went through a lot of things because of this and he broke down, did a lot of bad things. And no one knows what will happen to me, it can happen to anyone. A good normal person but something happens and you end up in a mental hospital. I don’t judge anyone, but I just didn’t want to go.”
It’s clear that Tyson’s past convictions and Khamzat’s moral standings on topics like narcotics and religion are reasons for the refusal. Chimaev, who was recently called a ‘rookie’ by Nate Diaz as he declined the offer to fight Khamzat, is still unsure of who he’ll fight next. Promoter Dana White says he doesn’t blame fighters for not taking up Khamzat as a possible fight.