Many people were so surprised to see Khamzat Chimaev look human in his matchup against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 that they’re beginning to blame Darren Till.
Chimaev, who remains the biggest rising star in combat sports today, didn’t get the finish he was looking for against “Durinho” just a few weeks ago. The undefeated Chechen fighter was a massive favorite after decimating his opposition over his first four UFC appearances and many expected “Borz” to do the same to Burns. However, Burns was a huge step up in competition and gave Chimaev a true run for his money. Chimaev still will won the fight by unanimous decision, but some see it as a bit of a loss.
When it comes to momentum and carrying an aura of invincibility Chimaev certainly lost a little pizzazz in his bout with Burns. It should only help him become a better fighter in the long run, but now the welterweight contender finds the need to defend his performance against all naysayers.
The most recent notion to hit the MMA airwaves is that Till, who has become a close friend and main training partner for Khamzat, created a negative impact on Chimaev’s fight camp. The two spent a lot of time together over the past few months and have become brothers in the fight game. Till is one of the better strikers in the UFC today and has certainly helped Chimaev fine-tune some of his skills along the way. The same can be said about Chimaev helping Till get himself in order.
Chimaev, who has made no excuses for not finishing Burns at UFC 273, doesn’t believe for one second that Till was a distraction for his camp.
“There is no bad influence. It’s all good. How could it be if he [Darren Till] helped with a training camp?,” said Chimaev during an appearance on the Hustle MMA YouTube channel. “Nothing has changed. I just messed up in the fight and that’s it. That’s the only reason. I was emotional. To be honest, it was a good lesson and I’m happy with the outcome.”
Chimaev, 27, remains on the cusp of a UFC welterweight title shot. The promotion is already targeting a potential clash with Colby Covington later this year on ABC. If “Borz” is able to win that matchup he’ll certainly punch his ticket for a future date with current UFC welterweight king Kamaru Usman.
As for Till, he’ll likely be in Khamzat’s corner the entire time. The two have formed quite a friendship and only seem to be having a positive effect on one another.