UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is rooting for Gilbert Burns to pull off the upset against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273.
Burns, a one-time UFC title challenger, will enter the matchup as a +370 underdog despite being the more proven fighter of the two. The Brazilian holds standout victories over Tyron Woodley, Stephen Thompson, and Demian Maia whereas Chimaev’s biggest victory is a first-round stoppage of No. 13-ranked welterweight Li Jingliang.
Adesanya thinks Burns poses a much bigger threat to Chimaev than the odds might suggest and believes ‘Durinho’ will get the job done on April 9.
“I know Burns,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel (h/t Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie). “He don’t play about it. He’s real. He’s really about this life. I’m glad that he’s up at welterweight now because he’s a lot better at this weight class. But Khamzat on a roll. His last opponent, ‘The Leech’ (Li Jingliang), was the most impressive opponent he’s beat so far.”
“Gilbert Burns is good, but he gets hit. Everyone gets hit, and he’s got power in his punches. You know what? I’ll be rooting for Burns. I think he can get it done.”
UFC 273, which features Burns vs. Chimaev on the main card, takes place this Saturday, April 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.