Both men came face-to-face in the fighter hotel before Saturday’s anticipated clash at UFC 273 between Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns.
Khamzat Chimaev enters the bout with a squeaky clean undefeated record and stands at (10-0) in his professional career. On Saturday night, “Borz” looks to add his biggest name to his already impressive resume, by defeating #2 ranked Gilbert Burns, who has once had a crack at welterweight gold.
The 27-year-old AllStars prodigy has been on a path of destruction since joining the UFC in 2020. Chimaev’s UFC career thus far has seen him dismantle John Phillips, Rhys McKee, Gerald Meerschaert, and more recently, Jingliang Li, all in dominant fashion.
Many have questioned the skill level of Chimaev’s opponents during his dominant run and aren’t convinced yet. However, Gilbert Burns is at the top of the food chain for a reason and will unquestionably bring the fight to the Chechen.
Burns has remained laser focused on the title after his hiccup at UFC 258 against former team-mate Kamaru Usman. The Brazilian’s first attempt at UFC gold was short-lived after Usman secured a knockout in round three. Following the defeat, Burns picked up a convincing unanimous decision victory over Stephen Thompson, which has landed him in a fight with the mystery that is Khamzat Chimaev.
FrontKick MMA, a Swedish outlet, captured both stars walking throughout the hallway at the fighter hotel, forcing both to engage in a verbal exchange. Both men kept it respectful and lighthearted, eventually shakings hands and walking off.
Khamzat Chimaev & Gilbert Burns come face-to-face
“Ah, I’ve got you now,” Khamzat Chimaev said to Gilbert Burns. “Come, we’ll fight naked. You wanna fight me naked? Ah, you’re small, brother – you have to eat much, brother. Eat some banana, brother, chocolate. Show me power, brother.”
“I will show you Saturday,” Gilbert Burns says in response to Khamzat Chimaev. “I’m gonna show you, I’ll show you.”
Burns is relishing the opportunity of being the underdog. He believes a victory on Saturday steals Chimaev’s momentum. Which could put him straight back in the mix for a title shot. On the other foot, another dominant win from Chimaev, more than likely puts him as the next contender to challenge Kamaru Usman.
The welterweight champion, Usman, is still expected to face Birmingham’s Leon Edwards on July 2nd for international fight week. Although, stranger things have happened.
Can Burns deconstruct the hype train, or can Chimaev leapfrog Leon Edwards with a statement win?