Chimaev and middleweight Darren Till have moved their training to Las Vegas ahead of their Octagon returns. Chimaev has been spotted training at the UFC Performance Institute and was also in attendance cageside at UFC 272.
Chimaev will face what is being considered the toughest test of his young UFC career against former title challenger Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. The two welterweights have gone back and forth on social media regarding a potential fight for months.
During a recent appearance on The Fight with Teddy Atlas podcast, Sonnen previewed Chimaev vs. Burns and gave a glowing review on Chimaev’s training regimen.
“Okay, so that’s gonna be the ninth of April, pay-per-view,” Sonnen said of Chimaev vs. Burns. “I love that match. Right now, I am leaning towards Chimaev. But I’m drunk on the excitement of Chimaev. No fighter’s got the wind on his back quite like Chimaev. There’s just something to be said for momentum. I got to watch him work out for the first time last week. All the rumors are true.” (h/t SportsKeeda)
Sonnen isn’t the only notable former or current UFC fighter to praise Chimaev up close. Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson recently stated that his Allstars Training Center teammate may eventually enter the GOAT conversation.
A win over a former title challenger like Burns could earn Chimaev a title shot against welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. If Usman can get past Leon Edwards later this year in their planned matchup, Chimaev could get an opportunity to claim the welterweight throne.
What is your prediction for Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns?