Chimaev moved a significant step closer to achieving his grand aspirations in the UFC on the main card of this past weekend’s UFC 273 pay-per-view. Having breezed past John Phillips, Rhys McKee, Gerald Meerschaert, and Li Jingliang, Chimaev was risen up the ladder for his toughest test to date.
Against former title challenger and top-five contender Gilbert Burns, “Borz” not only extended his perfect record to 11-0, but he also proved his mettle in aspects of the game we’d yet to see of him, namely grit and toughness in the face of adversity.
After three rounds, the Chechen-born Swede was awarded a unanimous decision verdict, which has seen him rise to #3 in the welterweight rankings after this week’s update.
While Chimaev’s charge towards welterweight gold is ongoing, the 27-year-old hasn’t been shy about expressing his ambitions beyond the division, specifically championship glory at middleweight.
However, one 185lber who expects to hold gold by the end of this year has told “Borz” to hold his horses when it comes to champ-champ aspirations.
Cannonier: I’d Defend From Everything Chimaev Has To Offer
If “The Killa Gorilla” becomes the first man to defeat “The Last Stylebender” at middleweight, he could have a future date with Chimaev set, should “Borz” continue his upward trajectory at 170 pounds.
Discussing that during a recent interview with The Schmo, Cannonier seemed to welcome the challenge, suggesting he’d have no issue thwarting the up-and-comer’s attacks.
“(It would play out with) me maintaining my strap, defending off a bunch of his wrestling, takedowns,” said Cannonier. “Shrugging off a lot of his power shots that he throws, and taking it to him, showing him why I am who I am, and what I can do.”
One of the main points of discussion surrounding Chimaev’s rapid ascent up the UFC ladder has been his confidence and self-belief, and public claims of superiority over his UFC peers. Cannonier, on the other hand, believes he lets his abilities in the Octagon do the talking.
“Making these guys realize that I’m not here screaming, ‘I’m the king!’ The king doesn’t have to let the world know that he’s the king. The world looks at the king and sees, ‘There he is, right there.’ That’s what’s gonna be happening,” concluded Cannonier.
How do you think a middleweight fight between Jared Cannonier and Khamzat Chimaev would play out?