Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Burns Explains How Chimaev Has Set An Example Others Should Follow

UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns has explained how upcoming opponent Khamzat Chimaev has set an example for other up-and-comers in the UFC.

Since his debut in 2020, Chimaev has quickly grown into a bonafide contender and a potential future challenger to Kamaru Usman‘s title. Despite only entering the Octagon four times, “Borz” has perhaps made more of a splash in that time than anyone else.

In the space of 66 days, Chimaev obliterated John Phillips and Rhys McKee on the ground, and brutally knocked out middleweight veteran Gerald Meerschaert in just 17 seconds.

In his return to action last October following a lengthy layoff, the Chechen-born Swede picked up where he left off. Against Li Jingliang, who represented his first ranked opponent in the UFC, Chimaev continued his dominance.

By choking “The Leech” unconscious, Chimaev extended his unbeaten record to 10-0, maintained his 100% finishing rate, and recorded his third straight first-round stoppage.

Chimaev is now set for a considerable step-up in competition in the form of top-five contender Gilbert Burns. Ahead of their contest next month, “Durinho” had some praise for his rival.

Analyzing Chimaev’s rise to prominence during an interview with The AllStar, Burns suggested the #11-ranked welterweight has shown a good example on how to impress against low-level opposition.

“He was very impressive to me because when I see guys that have an opportunity, that has an opponent that is not as high level as you, you should finish quick, finish impressive(ly),” said Burns. “And a lot of fighters, they don’t (do) that. They give you kinda of an ‘easy matchup’ and you’re not finishing the guy, you’re not taking advantage.

“He’s (Chimaev) taking a lot of advantage. I think he got (punched once) in one of the fights, hit the guy over 100 times, got a finish; I think he’s very good,” Burns continued. “I think people make him a monster… No, he’s a good fighter. I think people are putting him too much as a monster with the competition that he was given. But, at the same time, he make a good point beating the guys the way he did.”

Burns Will Hope To Put A Stop To Chimaev’s Dominance

Burns will be hoping to prove his superiority over the rising Chimaev when they share the Octagon at April’s UFC 273 pay-per-view. After much discussion and back and forth, the fight was finally confirmed earlier this month.

While Chimaev will be hoping to surge further up the ladder and earn his first crack at gold on MMA’s biggest stage, Burns will be targeting a second date with the champion.

Since returning to welterweight in 2019, “Durinho” has gone 5-1. After four consecutive wins, he earned a shot at Usman’s title. Despite rocking the champ early, Burns became a victim of the Nigerian’s striking development in the second, falling to a TKO loss.

Having rebounded with a dominant unanimous decision victory over Stephen Thompson last July, the Brazilian will hope to secure another opportunity by halting the charge of a hungry up-and-comer on April 9.

Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 273, Gilbert Burns or Khamzat Chimaev?

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