Gilbert Burns squared off with Khamzat Chimaev in April at UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie in a bout that surely contends for fight of the year. The only thing that could have made this fight more entertaining is two more rounds, as it was only scheduled for three. After repeatedly trading strikes and takedowns, Chimaev got the victory via Unanimous Decision in a challenging and bloody affair for both fighters.
Burns has not been in the octagon since that barn burner in April, and he had some words of criticism for Chimaev pertaining to his antics as of late. ‘Durinho’ spoke on Khamzat’s weight cutting miscue at UFC 279 and his overall attitude:
“It’s not that he (Chimaev) got lost. He didn’t find himself… Things happened too fast for him. With three fights, he was already the guy. At first, I liked it a lot. He challenged and fought. Then he got out of character. Gives up hitting weights, confusion here, there. I like this style, the guy who challenges everyone. There is no bad time.”- (Transcribed by MMA News)
The Khamzat Chimaev that Gilbert Burns stepped into the octagon with last April has changed very much since then. Many know of the circus that was UFC 279, largely catalyzed by Chimaev missing the welterweight limit by multiple pounds. Following this major lack of professionalism, many fighters and fans agreed with Burns’ sentiment regarding the failed weight cut.
Gilbert Burns on Potential Next Opponents for Khamzat Chimaev
Since his stunning rise to stardom, Khamzat Chimaev has found it difficult to find opponents willing to step into the octagon with him. Chimaev is usually in the forefront of MMA media stating how no one will agree to fight him, and how he is always struggling to find a counterpart.
Since the UFC 279 weight cut issue, it is generally accepted that Chimaev will have a much easier time moving up to the 185 lb. division and facing top contenders there. Via MMA News, in a recent interview with Super Lutas, Gilbert Burns stated that Chimaev recently turned down two high-profile fights at middleweight.
Paulo Costa and current champion Alex Pereira were both offered as potential bouts for Chimaev, and Gilbert Burns offered some insight as to why Khamzat would be very hesitant to face off with either of these Brazilian maulers:
“I took him (Chimaev) down, imagine ‘Poatan’. If I knocked him down, Poatan’s hand must be very heavy. I took him down and he (Chimaev) keeps talking nonsense with these guys. ‘Poatan’s hand is huge, ‘Borrachinha’s is huge.”– (Transcribed by MMA News)
Clearly, Burns believes that his fellow countrymen would give Chimaev real problems in the octagon. According to Khamzat, however, the inactivity on his end is because of potential opponents withdrawing from fight agreements. ‘Borz’ claims that four fights have been scrapped recently due to the shortage of opponents wanting to join him in the octagon.
Gilbert Burns is scheduled to fight Neil Magny at UFC 283: Teixeira vs. Hill for his first octagon appearance since the clash with Chimaev. As for Khamzat, his next opponent will be determined by his choice of weight class.
Do you think Khamzat stays at Welterweight or moves up to Middleweight? And who will he meet next in the octagon? Stay tuned, as one of the game’s biggest rising stars eagerly awaits his next challenge.