Gilbert Burns looks to kick Khamzat Chimeav’s hype train off the tracks at UFC 273.
UFC 273 features two important title bouts at the top of the card. But the fight between Gilbert Burns and Khamzat Chimeav is getting a lot of attention, if not more than the title contests. Burns is a consummate veteran at this point and he’s taking on a tough, young fighter in Chimeav with a lot of eyeballs on the outcome. Not only is Burns predicting a victory in his favor, but he’s predicting a finish of the highly touted prospect.
“We are going to test to see if this guy is real or not,” Burns said during the UFC 273 media conference. “I’m the guy to test this guy, to stop the hype train. I’ve been the underdog in what, my last maybe five, six fights. I’m coming and I’m going to beat this guy.”
The groundswell behind the 27-year-old Chimeav is palpable as his support across the industry swells. He is four fights into his UFC tenure and he’s stopped every opponent in impressive fashion. Chimeav’s last outing against Li Jingliang at UFC 267 only helped build the excitement as he picked up a win in less than four minutes. But Burns is not deterred heading into Saturday’s fight.
“His first two UFC opponents, do you know their name? Anyone? No one knows,” Burns said. “For sure, they’re pretty tough to be in the UFC, but they’re not Gilbert Burns. They’re not in the top of the division. So, all due respect, sorry for you if you were one of these guys, no offense, but I’m in the top of the division you know?
Burns gets key support from a former opponent in Kamaru Usman
Burns has been with the UFC since 2014 and has experienced varying levels of success. Overall, his Octagon record is 13-4. He challenged Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight championship at UFC 258, failing in that opportunity. He was able to rebound with a solid decision victory over Stephen Thompson at UFC 264. With a win, Burns may be right back in the title picture, but that did not stop him from getting help from Usman for this camp.
“To be honest, I took that loss like a man. He beat me, so I don’t have any hard feelings,” Burns said. “The fight was fair and square and I learned a couple lessons in that fight. He approached us a couple months ago and he said can he come and train. He couldn’t hold it in. He was looking at me sparring and he came in with pointers. We have a good relationship. We went into competition and I loss, but it’s not personal.”
UFC 273: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie takes place on Saturday, April 9, 2022, live from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.