JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just 4 fights into his UFC career, Khamzat Chimaev is already just one of the most well known athletes on the promotion’s full roster. Ahead of the major battle of his burgeoning profession, the 27-calendar year-aged welterweight isn’t shy on predicting greatness from himself moving forward.
With Chimaev (10- MMA, 4- UFC) facing former welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns (20-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) on the pay-per-see principal card of Saturday’s UFC 273, lots of consider he’ll gain a title shot of his possess with an extraordinary acquire.
Chimaev thinks he’s now the titleholder, pointing to the recent steps of reigning champion Kamaru Usman, as well as major contender Leon Edwards, as proof of his placement.
“I’m by now the champ,” Chimaev instructed MMA Underground at Wednesday’s media day. “The men, they never want to fight me. 1 dude goes out and has surgical treatment or anything. He needs to go do the boxing someplace and he can take care of his arm. Are we going to go do the boxing? I don’t know.
“The other man talked, he failed to fight any person major-10. They usually find some justification, you know? I’m completely ready. I’m previously the champ. Individuals know that.”
Usman, who just lately underwent surgical procedure to restore some lingering issues in his correct hand, is presently sidelined but has been steadily calling for a boxing match with pound-for-pound terrific Canelo Alvarez. Meanwhile, Edwards now sits at No. 3 in the UFC’s official welterweight rankings but hasn’t fought due to the fact this past June, when he mostly cruised to a determination gain more than Nate Diaz, conserve for a tumultuous ultimate spherical that noticed him clipped and wobbled.
Usman and Edwards are anticipated to fulfill sometime this summer time, but Chimaev does not believe that’s the battle followers want to see, even if UFC president Dana White has said it really is the matchup he intends to make.
“If they do that struggle, does somebody treatment about that struggle?” Chimaev requested. “I never feel so. Dana White would like to make that combat. Leon Edwards, no person is aware that man, and Usman, he is the identical. No person wants to see those guys. They would want to see me there and smash them the two. If they give me the two guys exact same night time, I’m likely to smash them each.”
The UFC, of training course, isn’t likely to book Chimaev versus two unique opponents on the similar evening, but his daring claim in some way looks legitimate. Although the UFC has its share of huge talkers, Chimaev’s matter-of-point shipping provides him a fairly believable tone. Chimaev isn’t becoming boisterous, he is just laying out what he’s carried out so considerably and what he intends to do once again on Saturday night time.
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“I’m going to go in the cage and like I do always: take his head and go residence,” Chimaev stated.
Burns unquestionably sees factors in a different way. One particular of the several possible opponents who willingly asked for a struggle with Chimaev, “Durinho” presently sits at No. 2 in the UFC’s rankings and boasts some of the best grappling competencies in the division, with his preceding Intercontinental Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation entire world titles serving as evidence.
Unsurprisingly, Chimaev is unimpressed.
“This is not jiu-jitsu,” Chimaev mentioned. “This is not wrestling. This is MMA. This is preventing. It is not like acquire the gi and keep any individual. I’m going to smash his facial area all over the place.”
The UFC has still to formally announce Usman vs. Edwards. Officially, the hold off is for Usman to get medically cleared to contend pursuing his surgical procedure, but there could be a bit of business enterprise on the minds of the UFC brass, as effectively. UFC 272 attributes a pair of title fights atop the monthly bill, but there’s no query that Burns vs. Chimaev is acquiring as a lot awareness from equally supporters and media as everything else on the card.
Will that translate into an quick title shot really should Chimaev gain? Time will tell, but he is pleased to make his case.
“[Edwards] just about dropped his final combat to Nate Diaz, that skinny male,” Chimaev said. “Five rounds, and final round, he will get drained. If he gets drained versus Diaz, what am I going to do with this male? He’s heading to get that exhausted following first moment, and I am going to knock him off. You know, maybe this guy is not that level, not my stage. so I do not know.
“Men and women, they do not want to see that person.”
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