Apart from the two title bouts for UFC 273, one matchup that got a lot of hype was the welterweight pairing between former title contender Gilbert Burns and rising undefeated contender Khamzat Chimaev. “Durinho” was believed to be Chimaev’s toughest test, and it did show through the three-round battle between the two elite 170-pounders.
Ultimately, it was “Borz” who ended up with the decision win as he kept his undefeated record intact. But the fight itself was action-packed from bell-to-bell, so UFC president Dana White decided to give Burns his win money, nonetheless.
“I’m gonna give Burns his win money, too. He’s gonna get his show and win. That fight was ridiculous,” White told reporters during the UFC 273 post-fight presser.
“It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen, it’s one of the coolest fights I’ve ever been to. The place was so loud and people were going crazy. That fight was eclipsing the co-main and main event all week.
“That was one of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen,” he added. “And to be a part of, to be here in the arena. I don’t know how it came off on TV, but holy shit. It was awesome in here.”
White did give Chimaev his props, but he didn’t ignore Burns’ accomplishments.
“You heard Gilbert. Gilbert said, ‘I was prepared to die tonight. I wasn’t gonna come in here and roll over.’ He took some big shots tonight,” White said of Burns.
“He looked good, man. He’s fought four times in two years in the UFC. And most of them without a crowd.”
With the loss to Chimaev, Burns dropped to a record of 20-5.
Low fighter pay has been an issue in mixed martial arts, with many fighters such as Matt Brown recently campaigning for the UFC to remove this old show and win pay structure in favor for a flat fee.