UFC 273 results, highlights: Khamzat Chimaev outpoints Gilbert Burns in thrilling brawl

UFC 273 results, highlights: Khamzat Chimaev outpoints Gilbert Burns in thrilling brawl

Unbeaten phenomenon Khamzat Chimaev passed the biggest test of his young career on Saturday at UFC 273 after battle-tested veteran Gilbert Burns pushed him just short of the end of his physical limits.

In a surefire fight of the year candidate and one of the greatest action fights in UFC history, Chiamev improved to 11-0 following an unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) inside VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The three-round bout marked the first time Chimaev, 27, went the distance since turning pro in 2018.

Chimaev, a native of Chechnya, Russia, who fights out of Stockholm, Sweden, has become perhaps the most hyped prospect in UFC history and he lived up to it by showing the heart and damage resistance of a champion as Burns lured him into a bloody and dramatic brawl.

“A f—ing tough guy, I didn’t know he was so tough,” Chimaev said of Burns. “The guy comes up with Brazilian heart. Thank you for this fight, Gilbert. I love you, brother, all respect. This is just what I do for work to make money.”He did three rounds strong. I f—ing worked hard for everything. I never stop my training if I’m not injured but that guy was f—ing good today.”

Burns (20-5), the rare elite fighter who went out of his way to offer his name as a test for the rising Chimaev, showed the kind of grit and aggressiveness that has become his calling card as respected title contender. Just 15 months after he lost a shot at Kamaru Usman’s welterweight title despite dropping the defending champion, the 35-year-old Burns routinely answered the huge strikes of Chimaev in order to hold his ground.

“I go against the odds, I don’t care. I will fight anyone, it doesn’t matter,” Burns said. “My goal is to become the champion and I have to fight the toughest guys. Every time I am in here, I am going to give everything that I have. They are going to have to f—ing kill me. ‘t stop.”

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Chimaev landed the first huge strike of the fight when a right hand visibly hurt Burns in Round 1. But the native of Brazil rallied nicely by mixing calf strikes with powerful counter right hands. Chimaev appeared to secure the opening frame, however, when he followed up a front kick with a stiff jab to drop burns, who began bleeding soon after from a punch to the top of the head.

Burns continued to hold his ground in Round 2 and went on to briefly drop Chimaev with a short left hook as the drama in the fight intensified. Chimaev popped back up to land a huge combination before a brawl ensued with Chimaev soon bleeding from his nose.

Chimaev was dropped a second time to end Round 2 on a counter right from Burns. The final round saw Chimaev on the verge of stopping Burns after hurting him with a flurry to the body. With both fighters exhausted, Burns landed a pair of rights late.

“I am happy. This stage is what I have been waiting for a long time,” Chimaev said. “I wanted to be 11-0 with 11 finishes. But I love this stage.”

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