After two years of questions, we finally have some answers as to who Khamzat Chimaev really is. The answer: he’s a top five welterweight. Chimaev went to war with Gilbert Burns at UFC 273, battling tooth and nail to earn a close decision win. There was no doubt as the bout unfolded that it was the “Fight of the Night.” The venue was simply electric from the first walkout to the final bell (watch highlights here).
At the UFC 273 post-fight press conference (watch it here), UFC President, Dana White, discussed the bout and Chimaev’s performance with the press.
“It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen,” White said. “It’s one of the coolest fights I’ve ever been to. The place was so loud, and people were going crazy.
“Think about this: when is the last time you saw a guy come out of nowhere, nobody knows who he is, then fights a couple fights and then fights the number two ranked guy in the world and wins? When you get into the top five in the UFC, it’s no joke, man. Especially in that division. That division is straight killers. Tonight was a big test for him and he passed.”
The only people who might walk away unimpressed were folks who were sold on the idea of Chimaev cutting through Burns like he had his past four opponents.
“Well, he’s human,” White said. “Any asshole that said that doesn’t think the kid is human. He’s a human being, and he just beat the No. 2-ranked welterweight in the world in UFC with a couple of fights in UFC. If you don’t think he’s the real deal, you’re out of your mind. He’s human, you know.”
“Till keeps telling me this guy never gets tired, he never runs out of energy. But, you can’t train in the gym for what happened tonight. I’m sure leading up to this week he’s had a ton of pressure on him, a lot of anxiety. Who knows how well he slept last night. All the things that go into the buzz and energy. And I’m sure there was a huge adrenaline dump after the first round. This is s—t you can’t train for. And you either make it through or you don’t. He made it through with flying colors.”
Later in the press conference, White underscored the fact that Khamzat’s fast UFC rise is extremely rare.
“If you can break into the top five in the UFC in whatever weight class you’re in, very few people actually do it. Very few people break into the top five. And to have four fights in two years, and I don’t even know what the highest rank guy he fought, but to go fight the number two ranked welterweight in the world in Gilbert Burns, and to win it ... it’s unheard of.”
Next up for Chimaev? If White has his way, a fight with Colby Covington. And with a win over “Chaos” ... a shot at the title.
For complete UFC 273: “Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie” results and play-by-play, click HERE.