Khamzat Chimaev sent a message to his detractors who criticized him for not having fought top-tier opposition yet. Chimaev recently indicated that even UFC legends like Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t face elite opponents early on in their UFC careers.
Citing how often he's been hit in his first four fights in the UFC, Chimaev slammed the narrative that he's overhyped. In a recent interview, 'Borz' stated:
“Who did like, go in the cage, ten fights, ten finishes? 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 didn’t get that; crazy good guys in their first fights. Nobody. Khabib didn’t get crazy good guys. I just need the time."
Watch Khamzat Chimaev draw parallels between his and Conor McGregor's careers in the video below (Video footage courtesy of Blockasset, reposted by TheMacLife):
Although Khamzat Chimaev has had his differences with Conor McGregor in the past, he’s also expressed his appreciation for the former two-division champ’s accomplishments in the sport. Akin to McGregor, Chimaev, too, has ambitions of becoming a multi-division UFC champion.
John McCarthy picks Khamzat Chimaev to defeat Gilbert Burns at UFC 273
Khamzat Chimaev, currently ranked No.11 in the UFC welterweight division, is set to fight No.2-ranked Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 on April 9th. During a recent episode of the Weighing In podcast, John McCarthy and Josh Thomson broke down this much-awaited fight.
McCarthy lauded Burns’ Brazilian jiu jitsu skills and powerful striking, but foresees Chimaev beating him. The former MMA referee said:
“He [Chimaev] is good in the stand-up. He’s slick in the stand-up. He throws straight shots. And he’s got power. So, in the stand-up, I will agree with you... If it hits the ground and Gilbert’s in the top position, Chimaev’s got problems. If Chimaev is in the top position, he’s got to be careful, but he’s going to be okay.”
Watch John McCarthy and Josh Thomson break down the Burns-Chimaev matchup in the video below:
Burns and Chimaev are set to square off in Jacksonville, Florida, next month. The fight against 'Durinho' will be the first major test for 'Borz' in the UFC. It's a high stakes encounter as well, as UFC president Dana White has suggested that the victor will be next in line for a title shot.