Chimaev outlasted Gilbert Burns in a three-round war at UFC 273. It was easily the toughest test of Chimaev’s young UFC career after he finished all of his previous 10 professional fights.
Chimaev faced plenty of adversity against Burns during the fight. He was rocked several times by Burns’ punches and was also challenged in the grappling aspect of the fight.
In a closely-contested fight, Chimaev earned a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards in a gritty performance. However, some on social media questioned whether or not the hype behind Chimaev is still warranted following the victory.
During his UFC 273 post-fight press conference, White hit back at the detractors of Chimaev who downplayed his win over Burns.
“Well, he’s human. I mean, any asshole who said that doesn’t think the kid’s human. He’s a human being. And he just beat the #2 welterweight in the world in the UFC with a couple of fights in the UFC. If you don’t think he’s the real deal, you’re out of your mind.”
White went on to praise Chimaev for his ability to deal with the added pressure during the leadup to UFC 273.
“And funny, Till keeps telling me, ‘This guy never gets tired. This guy never, ever runs out of energy. Never, ever. But you can’t train in the gym for what happened tonight. You can’t. I’m sure leading up to this week, he’s had a ton of pressure on him, a lot of anxiety, who knows how well he slept last night, all the things that go into the buzz and energy. I’m sure there was a huge adrenaline dump after that first round. So this is shit you can’t train for, and you either make it through it or you don’t. He made it through with flying colors.”
White has hinted at former UFC welterweight title challenger Colby Covington being Chimaev’s next opponent following UFC 273. Covington most recently defeated Jorge Masvidal in the UFC 272 headliner.
Chimaev has title ambitions at welterweight and middleweight and could be one win away from a shot against either Kamaru Usman or Leon Edwards. For now, he’ll learn from his experience at UFC 273 as he moves forward in his young UFC career.
Do you think Khamzat Chimaev lived up to the hype at UFC 273?