Khamzat Chimaev finally got the taste of the best, and he reckons it’s something he had been waiting for, for quite some time. Khamzat Chimaev, in just his 11th professional fight, took on #2 ranked Welterweight Gilbert Burns, in what was a three-round war between both the fighters.
After everything was said and done, it was Khamzat Chimaev who emerged on top and maintained his undefeated streak to go 11-0 in his mixed martial arts journey. With the win, it’s safe to say that Chimaev will find himself in the second spot in the UFC’s welterweight rankings.
While Chimaev may have passed his first big hurdle inside the UFC Octagon, it goes without saying that the win did not come the way many would have expected. In many firsts for Khamzat Chimaev, the Chechnya-born Swedish fighter did not only go the distance for the first time in his mixed martial arts career but also bled and got knocked down inside the cage in a first.
“I dropped him, I was close to knock him out. The guy was tough, he come up. I’ve been dropped, I come up and now I am still undefeated. I am gonna come for everybody now.” Chimaev said in a backstage interview with Laura Sanko. “Actually I was thinking, he will give up after my hard punches. But he didn’t give up I dropped him and he come up again. Respect for the guy, I win, and I am still undefeated.”
While the response from the crowd in Jacksonville was evident enough to prove that Khamzat Chimaev did not really deliver the kind of performance fans were expecting from him, Chimaev himself was very critical of his approach inside the Octagon during the Burns fight.
Khamzat Chimaev is willing to make improvements in his fighting style after Gilbert Burns’s fight at UFC 273
A humble Khamzat Chimaev accepted that he made several flaws against Burns, and regarded the Brazilian fighter as a “tough” contender. Chimaev also pointed out how his excitement to knock Burns out got the better of him, and he drifted away from his initial gameplan.
“Next time it will be much better, because this time, I try to knock him out.”
Needless to say, it was evident that Khamzat Chimaev was not following the gameplan, after being screamed at by his coach following the second round.
“I have to work actually now. Now I know, I have to work with my head, mind, my mindset. I was stronger than him, physical. My technique was much better than him, my wrestling was much better than him. Now I have to work a little bit smarter, think about what I am gonna do in the fight. Because all my fights, I finish early, and this fight is, gonna take me to another level. Lot of things to learn.”
It goes without saying, Khamzat Chimaev will come back much stronger, and more evolved as a mixed martial artist when he steps inside the UFC Octagon once again. Be that as it may, the 27-year old fighter, who just competed in his 11th professional bout clearly passed his first tough test, and showed that he has all the makings of a future UFC Champion.