Gilbert Burns feels Khamzat Chimaev will find out the hard way about the difference between sharing the cage with unranked or lower-ranked fighters and top contenders. Burns and Chimaev are set to clash in a much-awaited welterweight matchup at UFC 273 on April 9.
Heading into the fight, Burns believes he'll prove to everyone that Chimaev still has a long way to go before he can be regarded as one of the best fighters in the promotion. During an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda MMA, Burns claimed that while 'Borz' is undefeated inside the octagon, his first two fights came against fighters who aren't ranked in the UFC.
'Durinho' also suggested that as he's ranked No.2 in the welterweight division, the step-up in competition will be too much for the Chechen-born Swede, ranked No.11, to handle.
Burns told Sportskeeda MMA:
"I figure I'm going to beat him [Chimaev] but I think, I don't know, I just think the step-up will be very different. I don't even know the first guy that he fought in the UFC, the second guy he fought in the UFC. I don't even know the guy's name. Do you know the first guy or the second guy? You don't know. You have to look...Then he fought at middleweight and then Li Jingliang. I think he's very good but the step up in competition... the step up is going to be very big."
Watch Gilbert Burns' interaction with Sportskeeda MMA's Andrew Whitelaw below:
Gilbert Burns explains the similarities and one key difference between himself and Khamzat Chimaev
Gilbert Burns has been watching and studying some of Khamzat Chimaev's previous fights to try and find chinks in his armor ahead of their upcoming clash. While he admits that there are not many visible weaknesses in Chimaev's game, Burns feels that he and his opponent have a similar skillset.
'Durinho' explained that, just like himself, Chimaev is a high-level wrestler and a skillful grappler, as well as a prolific striker with knockout power in his hands. However, the key difference that sets them apart is experience.
Burns aims to make his advantage in that department count this weekend at UFC 273. He further told Sportskeeda MMA:
"I watch a lot of his fights. I don't see a lot of weaknesses. I see a guy with heavy hands, very high-level wrestling and good grappling but it's kind of like describing myself a little bit...The difference that I see, I have way more experience."