We appear to be getting closer to the UFC‘s biggest prospect getting the biggest test of his young career. Combate reported earlier today that superstar prospect Khamzat Chimaev (10-0) will be taking on former title challenger Gilbert Burns (20-4).
The matchup is not finalized just yet, but it appears that the fight will take place on April 9th at UFC 273. Originally, the promotion was targeting the bout for May at UFC 274 which was being targeted for Brazil. However, the promotion has scrapped those plans and the fight is moving up.
This is a massive opportunity for Gilbert Burns. The last time we saw Burns was back at UFC 264 when he took on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. It wasn’t the most exciting fight in the world, but Burns was able to pick up the decision win. That got him back on track after he lost to Kamaru Usman.
Since moving up to the UFC’s welterweight division from lightweight, Burns is 7-1. He’s proven himself to be one of the very best in the world and he figures to be a massive test for the sport’s biggest and brightest young prospect.
UFC Crowning Moment?
Khamzat Chimaev became a star and a legend when he first appeared on UFC programming. The Chechen welterweight/middleweight fought twice in ten days during the promotion’s first trip to Fight Island. He won both of those fights by dominant stoppage.
Then he knocked out middleweight contender Gerald Meerschaert with the first punch he threw in their fight. After three quick stoppage wins, the UFC targeted him against top welterweight contender Leon Edwards. However, Covid ended up keeping Chimaev out of action for most of 2021 and that fight never happened.
Chimaev returned at UFC 267 when he took on Li Jingliang. Li was expected to be a tough test for Chimaev and he passed with flying colors. Chimaev ran through “The Leech” and now he’s a very impressive 4-0 inside the octagon. What’s remarkable is that he’s 4-0 and he’s only absorbed one significant strike during those four fights.
If Chimaev defeats Burns in April, his next fight will be for the UFC welterweight championship. Kamaru Usman is expected to defend against Leon Edwards next, but Chimaev will be right there if he can get past Burns.