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Gilbert Burns embraces underdog role vs. Khamzat Chimaev: ‘It takes off some of the pressure’

Welterweight Gilbert Burns will take on rising hot prospect Khamazat Chimaev at UFC 273.

Welterweight contender Gilbert Burns will have his hands full at UFC 273.

A considerable underdog against the rising Khamzat Chimaev, ‘Durinho’ is looking to stop his opponent’s hype and put together a new title run himself. For those reasons, the Brazilian does not mind that ‘Borz’ is the favorite ahead of their encounter.

In an interview with Ag Fight, Burns explained that being the underdog can help him focus on delivering a better performance. Now that the pressure is all on Chimaev’s side, Gilbert believes Khamzat is the who one will have to make the first move and make an impact in the fight.

“It doesn’t get me down,” Burns said. “I think it’s cool that I’m the underdog. It takes off some of the pressure. I’m number two in the rankings, I don’t have to go after him like a mad man to finish the fight. The way he’s been talking about how much of a favorite he is, I think he will have to go after me. You have to go out there and steal the belt. Because of the way he’s been talking, he’ll have to really go for it.”

“I’m pretty cool, actually,” Burns added. “I was the underdog in my last four or five fights. I’m used to it and I like it. A little less pressure, A little more relaxed. Everyone doubting me, then I go out there and show them. Or, if the worst case scenario happens, people were already expecting it. So it does make a little more calm.”

In his last outing, Burns (20-4) defeated Stephen Thompson by unanimous decision, back in July 2021. Before that, the 35-year-old suffered a TKO defeat to champion Kamaru Usman, in February of the same year.

Now, Burns is expected to take on Chimaev at UFC 273, in Jacksonville, Florida, on April 9. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight title fight between the champion, Alexander Volkanovski and challenger Chan Sung Jung.