Saturday, May 28, 2022

Burns: I Was More Nervous For Chimaev Than Any Other Fight Ever

UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns says he’s never been more nervous for a fight than he was prior to his clash with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273.

While two champions defended their titles at last weekend’s Jacksonville-held pay-per-view, a blockbuster clash in the 170-pound division made good on its threats to steal the spotlight

Having steamrolled his four prior opponents, rising star Chimaev was given a true litmus test on April 9 when he shared the Octagon with Burns. Across three rounds, “Borz” proved he can hang with the elite of the weight class, even in a back-and-forth war.

Following 15 minutes of memorable, Fight of the Year-worthy action, Chimaev was awarded the victory via unanimous decisions. Giving credence to his own gutsy performance, “Durinho” left the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena with his win money, a bonus, and certainly no damage to his stock.

Prior to their contest, Burns was ranked #2 on the welterweight ladder. In agreeing to face the surging Chimaev, the Brazilian was certainly taking a risk. That’s because the Chechen-born Swede was sat one spot outside the top 10 ahead of UFC 273.

While he certainly didn’t show it in fight week, Burns has now described just how nervous he was ahead of such a high-stakes battle.

Burns Compares Pre-Chimaev Nerves To Usman, Maia & Thompson Fights

During an interview with MMA Underground’s John Morgan days after his 18th walk to the Octagon, Burns compared how the nerves of his latest outing compared with his pre-fight feeling ahead of bouts against Demian Maia, Kamaru Usman, and Stephen Thompson.

While he admitted being “freakin’ nervous” ahead of his 2020 fight with Maia and UFC 264 collision with “Wonderboy,” Burns suggested that nothing matched the nerves he felt ahead of his date with “Borz,” not even his title shot last February.

“It was a great week, I had fun at the weigh-ins, at the face-off. I kinda anticipated all the little things that he was doing, I was ready for it. But it was another fight that I was freakin’ nervous before the fight,” admitted Burns. “The level is just going up, you know.

“Demian Maia, it was too much, it was number three. Kamaru, I was a little bit overconfident, so I wasn’t that nervous; I was overconfident. Stephen Thompson, I was freakin’ nervous. That passed Demian Maia. But the last one, I was more nervous than ever,” concluded Burns.

A nervous build-up and a disappointing loss certainly hasn’t stalled Burns’ motivation, nor has it dissuaded him from calling for a rematch. Soon after his memorable war with Chimaev, the Brazilian stated that he’s not finished with the Chechen-born Swede yet, a callout that was met with a positive response from the now-#3 contender.

But before contemplating his next step, Burns will turn his attention to family and recovery time. Meanwhile, Chimaev may be headed towards a meeting with two-time title challenger Colby Covington.

How do you think Gilbert Burns performed against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273?

Related Articles
Related Articles