Khamzat Chimaev doesn’t see a real challenge in Gilbert Burns and is already looking ahead to a potential number one contender’s bout against the winner of Colby Covington vs. Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272.
Chimaev (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) opined that he will ‘smash’ Burns (20-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) at UFC 273 (bout not yet confirmed) and then fight the winner of Covington-Masvidal for the interim welterweight title.
“All those numbers mean nothing. To be honest, I don’t see a real challenge in him. We’ll see. Everything may happen in a fight, but I am confident as usual,” Chimaev told RT Sport in a recent interview “I think I will just smash him with my skills and power. I feel that way. He might feel different, but I will go there and do what I did the last time.”
“I think it’s 50/50. I don’t care which of them wins. I am fighting Burns now, then after beating Burns, hopefully, I will fight the winner of Masvidal-Covington, because it seems like Usman has a hand injury and needs time to recover,” he added. “I hope he will recover soon. I am waiting for this guy, too. Looking forward to fighting him. But for now I think the winner of our fight with Gilbert will fight the winner of Masvidal-Covington for the interim title or just the No. 1 contender spot. Then Usman should come back and we will fight him. This looks like a good plan to me.”
Chimaev was last seen in action at UFC 267 where he disposed of Li Jingliang via first-round submission (rear-naked choke) at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. He is #11 in the UFC welterweight rankings and highly touted as one of the hottest prospects in the division.
UFC 272: Covington vs. Masvidal takes place on March 5, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.