If there were question marks over whether Khamzat Chimaev was an elite-level UFC welterweight, “Borz” emphatically answered them at UFC 273.
Chimaev was pushed all the way to the scorecards as he was taken the distance for the first time in his career by No. 2-ranked Gilbert Burns. And, after a thrilling three-round scrap that earned both men $50,000 cheques for the Fight of the Night, Chimaev earned the judges’ decision, with scores of 29-28 on all three scorecards.
The bout saw Burns push Chimaev to the limit as the Brazilian took the best of the Swede’s power and fired back with plenty of his own in an exhilarating bout that looks sure to feature in the list of 2022’s best bouts of the year.
It proved that Burns is still very much a top contender but, perhaps more importantly, it showed that Chimaev is ready for a run at the title.
But, earlier in the week, Dana White told the Pat McAfee Show that if Chimaev defeated Burns, he’d be keen to book him against former interim champion Colby Covington on a fight card on ABC later this summer.
Victory for Chimaev over “Chaos” would surely guarantee the undefeated Swede a shot at championship gold, perhaps before the year’s end.
UFC 273: Official Results
- Alexander Volkanovski vs. Chan Sung Jung via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 0:45
- Aljamain Sterling def. Petr Yan via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
- Khamzat Chimaev def. Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mackenzie Dern def. Tecia Torres via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mark Madsen def. Vinc Pichel via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Ian Garry def. Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Anthony Hernandez def. Josh Fremd via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Raquel Pennington def. Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Mike Malott def. Mickey Gall via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:41
- Alexey Oleynik def. Jared Vanderaa via submission (scarf hold) – Round 1, 3:39
- Piera Rodriguez def. Kay Hansen via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Julio Arce def. Daniel Santos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)