A victory over the #2 ranked welterweight contender, Gilbert Burns this weekend for the highly-touted, undefeated Khamzat Chimaev would do massive wonders for the Chechen’s hopes of landing a title shot next – and he further attempted to force the UFC’s hand — questioning the legitimacy of contenders to Kamaru Usman’s throne in the past.
Khamzat Chimaev, who features in another high-profile matchup on the main card of UFC 273 in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend, attempts to catapult himself toward title contention at 170lbs, but must first get past one-time title challenger, wily grappling veteran, Burns.
So far, however, it’s been largely plain sailing for the AllStars MMA staple, who has brushed aside a quartet of opponents between him and welterweight supremacy – with Li Jingliang last to feel the effects of a matchup with Chimaev – who stopped him inside the opening round with a taut rear-naked choke in October.
Khamzat Chimaev has previously claimed that he wants to land at least two UFC titles during his stint
Chimaev has certainly talked the talk and thus far, walked the walk since his UFC landing back in July 2020, however, should he overcome the sizeable obstacle that is Sanford MMA mainstay, Burns this weekend – he will have primed himself for a title shot likely within his sixth Octagon walk. And according to him, a pairing with current division outlier, Usman would offer the Auchi native something completely different than his five prior outings as promotional kingpin.
“Brother, (Kamaru) Usman is almost (retired), his knees don’t work, his back hurts, his arm hurts, operation everywhere,” Khamzat Chimaev told UFC color commentator, Daniel Cormier. “The guy (Usman) is too gold and too slow. He’s too slow, they want to like make money how they talk, they want to find a way and make money and go away from me, you know.”
“Who (has) he (Usman) beat, brother?” Khamzat Chimaev said. “He beat the same two guys four times. He beat Colby (Covington) twice and he beat the other guy (Jorge Masvidal), twice. Who he beat, brother? Tyron Woodley – he was out from the UFC after him, 10 guys beat him, and boxing, a YouTube vlogger (Jake Paul) beat that guy. You know like, who he beat? I don’t know, I don’t understand, he didn’t beat and didn’t fight somebody like me.”
Fixated with a title challenge opposite the entirely-dominant Usman, Chimaev looks likely to lay in wait behind the #3 ranked Leon Edwards should he dispatch Burns this weekend in the Sunshine State – with the Birmingham native all but penned to rematch the champion for undisputed spoils in a UFC 276 title affair this summer.