This past Saturday on the main card of UFC 273, we saw a welterweight showdown that the world had been waiting on. Superstar prospect Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) was finally getting a shot against top welterweight competition in former title challenger Gilbert Burns (20-5).
The odds for this matchup were almost comical they were so lopsided. It was clear that everyone believed that Chimaev would run through Gilbert Burns just like he had run through all of his previous UFC competition.
However, that’s not what happened at all. From the opening bell, Burns made it clear that this would be a fight. Having only been hit twice before inside the octagon, Chimaev absorbed over 100 strikes from the former title challenger.
After a close first round, Chimaev dropped Burns near the end of the round. It looked like he would get the stoppage at UFC 273 for a second, but Burns powered through. The second round, Burns took over and looked sensational evening up the rounds one a piece.
In the final round, Chimaev was composed and really took control. However, Burns battled back in the final minute and made things interesting. However, all three judges agreed that Chimaev won the final round and gave him the decision win at UFC 273.
What’s next after UFC 273?
Nobody was really downplaying Khamzat Chimaev prior to UFC 273, but now you can’t deny him. The main is one of the very best welterweights on the planet and the win over Burns shows just how special he is.
Now that he’s been tested against elite competition, it’s only bigger and better fights from here on out. So, what will the UFC do next with their budding superstar? Well, Dana White hinted at wanting to do a ABC Fight Night headlined by Chimaev and former interim champion Colby Covington.
Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards are expected to fight for the UFC welterweight title over the summer. Covington has already lost twice to Usman, but if he wins another fight, the promotion would be willing to do a third fight. Usman also said he would take a third fight with Covington.
Beating Colby Covington would really establish Chimaev as the number one contender. I think the UFC is going to push for this fight with the winner being guaranteed a title shot. Either we would see Covington get his third shot, or by the end of the year, Khamzat Chimaev could have his crowning moment.