After extending his unblemished professional record with four straight wins and finishes on MMA’s biggest stage, Chimaev is set for the step-up in competition that could cement his status as a future star and sure-fire future titleholder.
If he’s to rise from #11 on the 170-pound ladder to the group of elites in the division, he’ll have to get past former title challenger and second-ranked contender Burns in Florida this Saturday.
To say Chimaev is confident would perhaps be the biggest understatement of the year. He’s repeatedly suggested he’s going to have no issue easily dispatching, or to use his own favorite term—’smashing’, Burns.
While the phrase ‘I’m not looking past my opponent’ is present in just about every pre-fight interview nowadays, “Borz” makes no effort to hide the fact he does the opposite.
That includes calling for an immediate clash with Kamaru Usman following his fight with “Durinho” this weekend. By immediate, we mean – immediate…
Chimaev: I’ll Beat Burns & Usman The Same Night
During a fight week appearance on The DC Check-In with former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier, Chimaev noted that Usman has been helping his former teammate and opponent Burns prepare for UFC 273.
While some fighters would perhaps be unnerved by the presence of a dominant champion like Usman in their rival’s camp, Chimaev isn’t “some fighters.”
The Chechen-born Swede revealed he’s hoping to see “The Nigerian Nightmare” in Burns’ corner this weekend, not just to watch him KO the Brazilian, but to hop into the cage for a title defense after.
“If I smash him fast, don’t say he needs somebody else to test him again… I hope Kamaru will be there in his corner, you know,” said Chimaev. “He’s been helping him for (his) training camp or some sh*t. I hope he will be there so when I knock him (Burns) out, I’m gonna go to him, ‘Jump in, you’re next.’ I can beat them both same night.”
Usman has sat on the welterweight throne since 2019, beating away the challenges of Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and Burns. As the current #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, and with five defenses on his record, many are pointing to him as the promotion’s welterweight GOAT.
But as with everybody in the division, Chimaev expects to smash him.
In an Instagram post earlier this year, “Borz” suggested a meeting in the Octagon with Usman is his target for 2022. Should he get past the #2-ranked Burns this Saturday, that desire will be a whole lot closer to becoming a reality.
Do you think Khamzat Chimaev has what it takes to beat both Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman inside the Octagon?