UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns explained why UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman would defeat top prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
Burns has fought both Usman and Chimaev in the past. He fought Usman in the main event of UFC 258 in February 2021 and lost that fight via knockout, then went toe-to-toe with Chimaev at UFC 274 in April 2022 and lost a decision in one of the fights of the year so far. So if you’re going to ask anyone who wins if Usman and Chimaev fight, then Burns is the right man to ask.
Right now, it looks like Chimaev will have to fight once more, likely against Colby Covington before he gets the title shot against Usman. The champ, meanwhile, seems to be next up for a rematch against Leon Edwards. Should both Usman and Chimaev win those two fights, then it seems very likely that we will see a fight between Usman and Chimaev. If that’s the case, then Burns has a winner in mind, and he feels pretty confident about who he believes would win.
“Kamaru, I think the IQ difference (over Khamzat) — IQ makes a lot of difference. I think Kamaru is very smart. He hits hard. Kamaru put me away. Three rounds, (Khamzat) couldn’t put me away. I think Kamaru does hit harder,” Burns said (via MMAFighting.com). “I think Kamaru, the fight IQ with wrestling and striking is better than this guy. With the timing, the movement, with mixing things up, the feints, the angles, I think Kamaru is a level above this guy still.”
It will be interesting to see if Usman vs. Chimaev happens and how the fight plays out if it does. Both fighters are elite as it gets, but as Burns says, it appears Usman has the edges in the fight.
Do you agree with Gilbert Burns that Kamaru Usman would defeat Khamzat Chimaev?
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