Since he burst his way into the UFC in 2020, Khamzat Chimaev has also begun to talk the talk. Many could easily perceive it as confidence, but for others, his type of gamesmanship and self-marketing could very well be unreasonably brash, even bordering on disrespect.
“Borz” fought what many see as the biggest fight of his career against Gilbert Burns on Saturday at UFC 273. And during the post-fight presser, he addressed the negative perception that surrounds him.
“People think I don’t respect the guys. This is the game, you try to play with his mind and let him make some mistakes. I love that shit. I try to learn something from everyone,” Chimaev told reporters.
“I respect all my opponents. Everyone do this for his family.”
In the case of Burns, the 27-year-old Chimaev admitted it was particularly difficult, especially after having a pre-fight conversation with his opponent’s children.
“Actually it was a little bit hard to fight him because I see his kids,” he said. “They come to me, ‘Hi, you fight my daddy.’ I say, ‘Shit, f—k. I don’t need that.’
“I don’t want to fight with some daddy. I need some killer like me, somebody that don’t care about that shit. I go to him (after the fight), I said, ‘respect, brother. Sorry for punches.’”
Chimaev did win the fight via unanimous decision and a $50K bonus for Fight of the Night. He also gets to keep his undefeated record intact as he improves to an 11-0 slate.