This Saturday at UFC 273, the UFC’s rising star Khamzat Chimaev takes on his biggest challenge to date, in former title challenger Gilbert Burns. Despite the task ahead of him, Chimaev’s eyes aren’t only on Burns, but also on the welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Chimaev didn’t seem impressed with Usman’s opposition during his time as champion and claimed none of the challengers brings the fire he does to the Octagon.
The Chechnya born exploded onto the scene in 2020 and, in fanatic fashion. He blasted through everyone the UFC put in front of him. Chimaev dismantled his opponents in the first round with ease, which has built the fearsome hype that surrounds him.
The 27-year-old, now Swede, is yet to be tested in the 10-professional fights that have seen him remain undefeated. With that said, none of his challengers has the same skill-set that Gilbert Burns possesses. In recent years, Burns has developed into a complete mixed martial artist and is arguably the closest fighter to dethrone Kamaru Usman.
Khamzat Chimaev talks Kamaru Usman’s Opposition
In an interview, Khamzat Chimaev explained to Daniel Cormier that the opponents Usman has defeated in his time as champion is nothing to be proud of. Chimaev isn’t impressed with Usman fighting the same man twice and a declining Tyron Woodley to secure the belt.
“Brother, (Kamaru) Usman is almost (retired), his knees don’t work, his back hurts, his arm hurts, operation everywhere… The guy (Usman) is too old 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.” (Transcribed by BJPENN.com)
Kamaru Usman has rubbed off the Khamzat Chimaev fight several times. The P4P king has voiced his opinion believing “Borz” needs to fight some ranked contenders. Well, Saturday night, he does just that and continues to breathe down Usman’s neck.
It’s yet to be revealed when Kamaru Usman will return to the Octagon after suffering from a hand injury that required an operation. While Usman has been healing, UFC Dana White did announce that Leon Edwards would be the next worthy challenger.
Suppose Khamzat Chimaev can pull off another statement victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 267. Can we expect White to retract the statement?