Khamzat Chimaev may be the next Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight title challenger by the end of this weekend. Indeed, 2020 was a truly unforgettable year overall. In the mixed martial arts (MMA) world specifically, a superstar was born at an unprecedented speed.
The Chechnya native burst onto the scene in as dominant a fashion as the sport had ever seen. But, to those who followed “Borz” from the beginning, it was evident he’d be where he is at present.
UFC 273 takes place this Sat. night (April 9, 2022) where Chimaev makes his fifth Octagon appearance when facing No. 2-ranked contender, Gilbert Burns. The undefeated Chimaev (10-0) has quickly risen to superstardom in UFC after flawlessly finishing his first four opponents.
Chimaev’s last time out was against his first ranked opponent, China’s Li Jingliang, who sat at No. 12 in the rankings with a 10-4 record within the promotion. Li, like Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert before him, joined the goose egg club finding themselves unable to even hit Chimaev, who pounded away 58 times before sinking in a rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights). It’s only the second time Li has been finished in his 25-fight career.
It only feels like a matter of time until Chimaev inevitably fights for a title. How quickly he’s done things and in the fashion, he’s done them has never been seen before. It’s probably still too soon to say this is a “once in a lifetime” instance, but Chimaev will let it be known he’s damn confident to prove it.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 273 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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