For the first time in his career, Khamzat Chimaev looked vulnerable in a fight after a three-round war against Gilbert Burns at UFC 273.
While the undefeated welterweight eventually took off with a win, Chimaev had to fight his way through some dangerous moments, and he blamed himself for getting into those positions by failing to listen to the advice of his coaches.
“I was too excited to knock him out,” Chimaev explained at the UFC 273 press conference after the fight. “I told everyone all week that I wanted to knock him out in one go. I tried to knock him out. It was wrong for me from the beginning.
“The guy was tough, I did not accept that. From the first second to the last second, I tried to finish him off. Next time I will work to get a little bit smarter. I want to smash someone.
“It was nothing surprising from him, but it was wrong for me. My coach kept telling me you love to throw down and work more technically. I just want to take his head off. Next time I will work for it. ”
Chimaev came out of the shot as soon as the match started and he almost earned a finish towards the end of the opening round when he put Burns down with an ugly straight right hand. Burns not only survived, but stormed back into the second round with a series of powerful blows that opened a cut in Chimaev’s face and rocked him during a couple of exchanges.
While planning to go back and watch the match, Chimaev can already identify his shortcomings after making his first decision ever.
“I already know [what I did wrong]said Chimaev. “From the beginning I tried to knock him out. My coach said to me, start slowly, work on your plug and defense. I just go in and do something crazy and I lost him and I got more excited. I tried to finish him. I had to drop him up and knock him out again.
“I want to watch my match [one more time] what’s going on there. I do not care about this shit. I will fight again against another. “
In the days and weeks leading up to UFC 273, Chimaev and Burns were engaged in some fiery trash talk, especially at the pre-match press conference as well as the official weigh-ins where they were to separate on stage.
After their fight on Saturday, Chimaev not only embraced Burns in the octagon, but also paid tribute to him while talking to UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. He then stopped to look at the one-time challenging title when he received medical care backstage.
Although Chimaev is not going to change his behavior, he admitted that the overall perception of his attitude may have been wrong, for as much as he always seeks to create expectation when he fights, it does not remove the admiration he feels for. his opponents.
“I told all the guys in the UFC, they think I do not respect the guys,” Chimaev said. “This is the game. I tried to play with his mind and let him make some mistakes. I love it s ***. I’ve seen it all along, the whole UFC s ***. I’m trying to learn something from everyone, and I respect all my opponents.Everyone does this for their family.
“In fact, it was a little hard to fight him because I see his kids, they come to me ‘you fight my dad’ and I said, s ***, f *** I do not need that. I will not fight with a father.I need a killer like me who will kill someone and do not care about that shit.I go to him, I said I respect you brother, sorry for the blow, and we do for our family and also to have fun. “
If there is one advantage to a fight like that, Chimaev proved that many critics erred in his ability to face adversity. He faced much better competition, but still found a way to win.
Chimaev suffered more injury on Saturday than he had in 10 previous games in his career combined. But in a strange way, that was exactly what he wanted.
“I like it s ***,” he said. “I love my face bloody and sweaty and kicking someone, hitting someone. Make money, I got 50 Gs. I’m happy.
“Before, I did not get that fight. It was my first fight that way. I loved it. I waited a long time for that. I had 10 matches and 10 finishes, but this match happened. I bled, sweated and fought three rounds. ”
The victory will propel Chimaev – who entered at night No. 10 in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings – near the top of the welterweight division, where he is likely to sit very close to a potential shot against reigning UFC champion Kamaru Usman. Prior to the victory, UFC President Dana White had teased a possible fight between Chimaev and double title challenger Colby Covington until later in the year.
It seems that “Borz” is ready for the challenge; then again, he seems ready for anyone that the UFC throws after him.
“If that guy does not call the police and if Dana White does not go to jail, I will gladly come to the fight and smash his face,” Chimaev said of Covington. “Of course [I knock him out].
“I said everyone. I want to fight everyone. They said [Burns] became No. 2 and Khamzat is No. 11 and the match was no good for Gilbert. Who cares about that s ***? We all want to fight against each other and make money. We fight for our families. I do not care who I fight with. I get my money, I get my $ 50 Gs, I knock someone out, and I’m happy. “