Khamzat Chimaev burst into the Top 5 of the Welterweight division with a victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 last night (Sat., April 9, 2022), but it wasn’t as easy as some expected it to be. Plenty of people weren’t giving Gilbert Burns a chance to beat the heavily-hyped Khamzat, but in the end it took the judges swaying Chimaev’s way for a 29-28x3 decision win (watch highlights here).
Following the fight, a sewn back together Chimaev sat down at the UFC 273 post-fight press conference and gave his thoughts on the fight. Initially, he sounded critical of his performance.
“I was too excited to knock him out,” Chimaev said. “Said to everybody all weekend ‘I’m going to knock him out, I’m going to knock him out.’ I tried to knock him out, that was wrong from me from the beginning. The guy was a tough fight and I accept that it would be like that. From first second to last second I had to try to finish him. Next time I’m going to work a little bit smarter, and yeah, gonna smash somebody.
“It wasn’t like something surprised from him, but it was wrong for me,” he added. “Coach told me all the time: slow down and be more technical. I just wanted to take his head off, you know? Like always, that. Next time I’ll work for that.”
Chimaev also admitted that his pre-fight dissing of Burns as a tough opponent was just trash talk.
“People think I don’t respect the guys,” Chimaev said. “This is the game, you try to play with his mind and let him make some mistakes. I love that s—t. I try to learn something from everyone. I respect all my opponents. Everyone do this for his family.
“And I see before the fight, actually it was a little bit hard to fight him because I see his kids,” he continued. “They come to me, ‘Hi, you fight my daddy.’ I say, ‘Shit, f—k. I don’t need that s—t. I don’t want to fight with some daddy. I need some killer like me, somebody that don’t care about that s—t. I go to him, I said, ‘respect, brother. Sorry for punches.’”
As for how close the decision was and whether he thought he won, “Borz” shrugged.
“I don’t care,” he said. “You care about that s—t? I don’t care. I get my money, I get my 50gs, go home and rest a little bit with my mom and it is good. Gonna come back and work hard, kick some ass.”
Asked if he was re-evaluating his chances of smeshing everyone now that he’d experienced first-hand how tough opponents at the top of the division, Khamzat once again declared:
“I don’t care. You think I’m not tough? I showed my heart. I am tougher than everyone. Gonna smash ‘em all, you know.”
And finally, Chimaev was asked if he was down to fight Colby Covington in a fight that UFC President, Dana White, teased was next.
“I don’t care,” he repeated. “I said everybody, I’ll fight everybody. These guys that are like ‘Oh I’m number two and Khamzat is number eleven’ and the fight is like nothing good for Gilbert. Who cares about that s—t, you know? We all want to fight each other to make money, you know? We fight for our families. I don’t care who I fight. Do I get money? I get my 50gs, I knock someone out, I am happy.
“If that guy don’t call the cops and Dana White don’t go to jail, I’d be happy to fight,” Khamzat concluded. “Come to the fight, I’ll smash his face.”
For complete UFC 273: “Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie” results and play-by-play, click HERE.