Undefeated UFC welterweight sensation Khamzat Chimaev will have an opportunity to prove the hype is real when he collides with former title challenger and No. 2-ranked 170-pound contender Gilbert Burns as part of the UFC 273 pay-per-view (PPV) event on April 9 in Jacksonville.
After that? It’s the Chimaev road show.
“It’s Ramadan after the fight,” Chimaev said on YouTube. “After Ramadan maybe go to some other gyms in some other cities, train there. Maybe go to Henry Cejudo. Maybe I go right to Jon Jones, I said I want to train with him. The guys who he beat, they were monsters, monsters in his division. He didn’t get some easy fighters but he make them [look] easy. A lot of guys who he beat, crazy good guys.”
Jones started training with Cejudo last fall.
A victory over Burns, if it’s as fast and as savage as this one, is likely to give Chimaev an opportunity to compete for the 170-pound title, which is expected to be up for grabs when reigning champion Kamaru Usman collides with welterweight rival Leon Edwards at some point over the next few months.
Unless Conor McGregor swoops in and steals the next title shot.
“If he wanna fight Usman, I think it maybe can happen because the guy is so famous,” Chimaev continued. “They can make money, good money, both. That’s why if they wanna fight, both, I think the UFC wanna make it. When I finish Gilbert Burns, I think I am the next for title. But this is the business. Who’s the famous, makes more money, they choose them. I understand that, but we’ll see what’s gonna happen.”
Usman is not the only champion with an eye on the Irish payday.
McGregor remains the biggest draw in mixed martial arts (MMA) but has struggled inside the Octagon over the last few years, posting a 1-3 record at lightweight and getting stopped in all three losses. In addition, “Notorious” is coming off a broken leg and it’s not yet known how the injury will affect his future performances, if at all.
We may find out later this year.