Khamzat Chimaev (11-0) made his much-anticipated return to the Octagon against Gilbert Burns (20-5) at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. It was a non-title fight.
Watch all the fight highlights below.
For more on Chimaev vs. Burns, check out the live blog from MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Both men come out in orthodox and it’s Burns on his bike to start. Chimaev throws two teeps to back Burns up and then shoots a double. Burns gets his hips back but Chimaev has him against the fence and lands some knees, possibly to the cup.
Burns still fighting this takedown off but not close to separation and Chimaev is able to get him down. Burns still up against the cage and trying to move but Chimaev staying on him and landing a few shots. Burns gets up but is dragged back down, and Chimaev takes the back briefly before Burns escapes. Chimaev steps off and they’re in space.
Chimaev is HUGE in there but Burns has the speed and he’s landing some decent kicks against Chimaev. Chimaev lands a right hand that stumbles Burns but he’s okay and they’re striking now. Burns even getting the jab going and he seems to have some timing down. Chimaev not looking to wrestle now, he’s landing shots and seems content to strike.
Good solid scrap developing here with Burns now pressing the action on him. That speed is helpful for Burns but now Chimaev is on the march and Burns is getting back up too much. Chimaev winging shots and he wants a KO now. He’s leaving his chin there but he doesn’t seem to mind, until Burns stumbles him. Now he’s got his hands up.
With a minute left, Chimaev drops Burns with a jab! Burns stepped in and Chimaev caught him on the chin and now Burns is on his back and Chimaev with hammer fists. Burns has his wits but he’s swinging back from the bottom and Chimaev keeps hitting him. Burns recovers and Chimaev backs out. Burns is busted open but he hits Chimaev with a jab and a right hand of his own! This is a damn good scrap.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8 Chimaev.
Very fun first round there and we learned a lot about Chimaev in it.
Chimaev lands a low kick to start and he has a pretty good kicking game. Burns though shoots a double leg on him and almost gets it! Chimaev essentially runs out of it but that was unexpected.
Chimaev now starting to switch stances a lot and he’s getting his jab off. Burns tags him with a counter over it though, and a big kick from Burns. Chimaev’s jab is a good weapon right now though, and he uses it to draw out a counter and crack Burns back.
Chimaev really content to a kickboxing match now and Burns goes for another single-leg but Chimaev is simply too big and strong for that. Chimaev comes in wildly and Chimaev gets clipped with a left hook that drops him! Burns trying to finish a hurt Chimaev but Chimaev firing back! Burns lands another big left but Chimaev has recovered and now he’s on the charge!
Burns looking a bit winded now but Chimaev has definitely slowed and this is getting very interesting. Big right hand from Chimaev hurts Burns! Burns is now throwing everything into his counters and he’s landing but he can’t put Chimaev down. Burns shoots a takedown but Chimaev sprawls it out and he’s on top. Burns kicks off though and back to swinging. Burns is taking over with volume on the feet and he’s got Chimaev reacting to feints. This is a tremendous performance from him.
Chimaev landing some counters of his own, but Burns landing more. And he’s ripping the body nicely too. These men are now brawling in a phone booth and Chimaev hurts Burns! But he steps in and Chimaev get’s dropped! No time left and Burns almost lands a soccer kick! Chimaev on a takedown. And then something happens at the end of the round and it’s a ruckus in here.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8 Burns, 28-28 overall.
This is Fight of the Night. No question.
Much slower pace to start the third and it’s understandable as both men have to be gassed. Chimaev still marching forward but nary a takedown attempt. He does land a big right though that has Burns moving back.
Chimaev back on the jab and he’s having a lot of success backing Burns up now. Burns goes for a takedown but Chimaev isn’t having it. Burns staying dogged but Chimaev is a superb wrestler and so strong. Burns looking gassed now though. He’s against the fence and Chimaev is unloading shots! Burns in the cover up and Chimaev going for knees! Burns is EXHAUSTED but Chimave clinches.
They break and a big jab from Chimaev stumbles Burns. Burns really retreating a lot and Chimaev jabbing and popping him. Burns absolutely winging counters. Chimaev has started going to an uppercut that’s slicing the guard of Burns but Burns is battling back. His face is a bloody mask now though.
Burns pressing the action and lands some right hands of his own. Chimaev coming back though. Both men clearly tired but Burns has gathered some wind. With a minute left, Chimaev is stalking but he’s throwing less now and Burns i trying to land. Big shots from Burns that miss. Chimaev ducking and swaying. Burns fighting his ass off.
Chimaev still pressuring and Burns is all heart. Chimaev ends the fight with a takedown attempt that he can’t finish and that’s a TREMENDOUS fight.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Chimaev, 28-27 Chimaev overall.
Khamzat Chimaev defeats Gilbert Burns by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).