Khamzat Chimaev has hit back at the doubters who undermine his skills based on his resume ahead of his bout with Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 this April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Chimaev compared his record to the likes of Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Every one of those fighters is likely to go down as one of the greatest of all time with Nurmagomedov leading the way into the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
While the aforementioned fighters were dominant in their own right, Chimaev has shown something special with his fighting style. He’s become known for mauling the fighters across the octagon from him while taking little no damage in the process.
Bursting onto the mainstream during the pandemic, Khamzat Chimaev lit up the MMA community with a ferocious streak of four wins in the UFC, all coming by finishes. The Chechen-born Swede fought three times in two months and carved a reputation for completely dominating his opponents.
Talking to The Mac Life about his doubters, Chimaev went on to defend his resume as he compared it to the early careers of Jones, McGregor, and Nurmagomedov.
“Who did like, go in the cage, ten fights, ten finishes?” Chimaev asked. “The guys tell like, ‘Oh, he didn’t fight this guy. He didn’t fight that guy.’ But the guys who’s the best guys, Jon Jones. His first four fights in UFC, he get the punch. I didn’t get the punch.”
“We don’t say his first fights, he didn’t get the best ones; the guys, you know, like, super good guys. Nobody. Conor [McGregor] didn’t get that, crazy good guys in their first fights. Nobody. Khabib didn’t get crazy good guys. I just need the time.” (via MMA Mania)
Will Khamzat Chimaev live up to the hype against Gilbert Burns?
The hype that Khamzat Chimaev has been able to generate is a phenomenon in itself given the short time he’s been in the UFC. He has his fair share of doubters like the welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, who highlighted the lack of high-level competition in his record.
The undefeated Chimaev is gearing up to face his biggest challenge in second-ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns at UFC 273. Many have been quick to dismiss his legitimacy for the UFC title contention including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya who said he did not consider Chimaev a threat just yet.
Based on the level of competition that Jones, McGregor, and Nurmagomedov had faced in their fifth fight, Chimaev ranks higher with a serious threat in Burns coming as his fifth bout. Although Chimaev has less fighting experience overall before his fifth fight (compared to McGregor’s 19 and Khabib’s 21 fights), Dana White confirmed the possibility of a title shot against Usman.