Undefeated welterweight contender Khazmat Chimaev got the job done on Saturday night at UFC 273 with a win over former title challenger Gilbert Burns. For many, “Borz” lived up to his hype by defeating his toughest test to date.
But for others like UFC president Dana White, the 27-year-old Sweden-based fighter may see himself to be the next huge superstar. During the post-fight presser, White compared Chimaev’s rise to two of his company’s biggest names: Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.
“Yeah, he’s gone that fast (as McGregor and Rousey),” White told reporters. “Fight Island, remember that? He said, ‘I wanna fight again next week.’ I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ And ever since then, he’s been like a rocket ship. I think he’s got three and a half million followers on Instagram. You saw what happened tonight.
“Think about this: when’s the last time you saw a guy come out of nowhere? Nobody knows who he is, comes out of nowhere, then fights a couple of fights then fights the number two ranked guy in the world. And wins.
“When you get into the top five in the UFC, no joke, man. And especially in that division. That division is straight killers. Tonight was a big test for him and he passed (it),” he added.
But of course, there will be the detractors who will never be impressed with Chimaev despite his performances. White also had a message for them.
“He’s human. Any asshole that (isn’t impressed) doesn’t think the kid’s human. He’s a human being,” White said of Chimaev. “And he just beat the number two welterweight in the world in the UFC with a couple of fights in the UFC.
“If you don’t think he’s the real deal, you’re out of your mind.”
White also mentioned a possible matchup between Chimaev and two-time title contender Colby Covington to headline an upcoming UFC on ABC card.
With the win over Burns, Chimaev improved to a record of 11-0. He also took home a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night.