In the career of Chimaev to date, no opponent has reached the second minute of the second frame. In the UFC, three out of his four rivals haven’t even made it to the first horn.
On debut in 2020, Chimaev brutalized Wales’ John Phillips, forcing a submission win early in the second round after six minutes of dominance. 10 days later, he displayed similar power and a vicious style against Rhys McKee, securing a TKO victory with just over three minutes on the clock.
To make it three wins in just 66 days, Chimaev showed his dangerous standup game and knockout power. In his first taste of fighting in the United States, “Borz” rendered Gerald Meerschaert unconscious after just 17 seconds.
After over a year out due to a nasty battle with COVID-19, the question on the lips of fans and pundits was whether or not we’d see the same Chimaev. Against Li Jingliang at UFC 267 last October, the Chechen-born Swede answered those questions emphatically, rag-dolling “The Leech” around and choking him out before the contest saw a second round.
In total, what does that give us? 17 minutes and 54 seconds in the Octagon, four wins, four finishes, four bonuses, and a new welterweight contender.
Chimaev Claims he Gets “More Technical” In The Later Rounds
Having not seen a third round in his career and barely having to get going on the rare occasions he’s found himself in the second, it’s understandable that questions surrounding Chimaev’s ability to maintain his pressure-wrestling game and intense output into the third, fourth, and fifth stanzas have risen.
After all, how many more questions are there left for “Borz” to answer?
But if Chimaev’s above comments are to be proven correct in the coming months and years, a fight with the Chechen-born Swede has become an even scarier prospect for the rest of the welterweight division than most would have thought.
During an interaction with RT Sport MMA, Chimaev addressed those who suggest he will fatigue when he’s finally forced beyond the second round. According to the #11-ranked 170lber, he performs even better when his initial energy wears off.
“Well, I wish I had a fight like that (an exciting five-rounder),” said Chimaev. “I am a fight fan myself. People think, ‘Oh, he finishes his fights so quickly. Maybe he would get tired if it went longer.’ But the point is, when we spar in the gym, I start doing even better in later rounds.
“My coach says I get more technical in later rounds,” added Chimaev. “Because at first, I have too much energy and go for the kill. That’s why I make some mistakes. In later rounds, I get more calculated and everything gets better. I would love to have a five-round fight to rewatch it afterwards and learn from it.” (Translated by RT Sport MMA)
If reports come to fruition, Chimaev will be set for his toughest challenge to date when he next enters the Octagon, and will likely see a third round for the first time.
Talk of a potential clash between Chimaev and top-five contender Gilbert Burns has existed for months now. After the initial discussion died down late last year, the pair revived the matchup by seemingly agreeing to it on social media. “Durinho” even pleaded with Dana White to book him against “Borz” in a five-round contest.
While nothing has been confirmed as of yet, the way both are talking about each other suggests it will be made official soon enough.
Chimaev’s potential is already hard to deny at this point. His claim to a title shot will be equally secure if he gets past the veteran Brazilian.
Do you think Gilbert Burns could stop Khamzat Chimaev’s rapid rise towards the title?