‘I will kill everybody’: Screaming Chimaev needs less than 2 minutes to choke Li unconscious in 1st UFC fight in 13 months (VIDEO)

Khamzat Chimaev choked Li Jingliang unconscious with his first attack in a stunning return to the UFC after 13 months out – then offered a gruesome warning to the rest of the roster after racing to speak to president Dana White.

Chechen-born Chimaev's comeback was one of the most anticipated fights of UFC 267 on Saturday, although there had been conjecture over whether he would be able to immediately recapture the knockout menace he is known for following an ordeal with Covid that made him fear for his life and almost quit the sport.

Long-serving UFC star Li had been a model of confidence in the build-up and was a study in concentration before he took to the octagon, while cocky Chimaev cut a carefree figure, screaming with glee as he made his way center stage.

Anyone doubting that he would be back in concussive style was drastically mistaken. Brave Li was slammed to the fence within seconds, pinned on the floor and choked in a terrifying trap, Chimaev all the while appearing to talk to promotion boss White, who has repeatedly tipped 'Borz' as a star to look out for.

The Chinese hardman did remarkably well not to tap out as Chimaev strengthened his vice, although that only postponed the inevitable as 'The Leech' ultimately lost consciousness.

"I will kill everybody," whooping Chimaev warned afterwards. "I said [to White], 'I am the king here, I am going to stay a long time. I am coming for everybody.' I said I was going to kill him and I did. He slept."

Chimaev is on the joint-longest finish streak behind heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, closing out his fourth early night in as many UFC fights.

The deadly 28-year-old, who has absorbed one strike in those four outings, barely needed to be asked who he was targeting next.

"Everybody, everybody," he howled. "I am coming for everybody. I kill everybody."

Two-time bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was among the astonished viewers of a display lauded as "superviolent" by some.

"Chimaev fights are always a dominating performance – this time, though, with only hand control and just one hook on the fence," observed Cruz. "He makes it look easy."

"Chimaev picking up The Leech [Li] and carrying him over to Dana to talk to him is the most alpha move I’ve seen in a fight," gushed presenter Laura Sanko. "That man is terrifying and I’m here for it."

With any worries over his full health emphatically dispelled – there were also murmurings after Chimaev needed three attempts to make weight – it is conceivable that the man who won his first two UFC fights in ten days will be back in action swiftly.

"Chimaev told me this week that he plans on going back to [his base in] Sweden to get vaccinated after this card so that he can compete in the US as soon as possible," claimed one reporter.

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