Chimaev and Burns went toe-to-toe in their UFC 273 featured bout, with Chimaev ending up walking away with the unanimous decision win. The fight was closely contested on the feet and ground as the former title challenger Burns provided Chimaev with plenty of challenges.
Chimaev entered the Octagon as confident as you can be for someone who is undefeated in his professional career. However, he was a bit distracted by the thought of hurting Burns in front of his family.
Chimaev admitted as much during his UFC 273 post-fight press conference when asked to share what he told Burns after the bout.
“All the guys in UFC think I don’t respect the guys, this is the game, I try to play with his mind, make him make some mistakes,” Chimaev said. “I respect all my opponents. It was a bit hard to fight him because I see his kids, and I was like ‘shit, fuck, I don’t need that shit,’ I don’t want to fight with some daddy. I go to him and say I respect brother, we do it for our family.”
Chimaev’s admission is a nice breath of fresh air after the recent family-involved trash talk by Colby Covington aimed at his UFC 272 opponent Jorge Masvidal.
This was the first time that Chimaev went the distance in his MMA career, after winning each of his previous 10 fights via stoppage. He most recently finished Li Jingliang via submission at UFC 267.
Chimaev’s comments show that fighters compete for more than Octagon success during their combat sports careers. He’ll look to continue his undefeated streak in his next fight as he moves closer to a potential welterweight title shot.
Where would you rank Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns amongst the all-time great UFC fights?