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UFC 273 results: Khamzat Chimaev pushed to the limit but beats Gilbert Burns in three-round slugfest

UFC 273: Burns v Chimaev Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Khamzat Chimaev was tested arguably for the first time in his career at UFC 273 but the undefeated prospect still passed with flying colors after winning a grueling war against Gilbert Burns.

The welterweights brought the best out of each other over 15 minutes with Chimaev cut, bleeding and hurt at times but he also returned fire in every exchange as he stunned Burns several times on the feet. When it was over, Chimaev earned the unanimous decision but he paid homage to Burns afterwards for pushing him to the brink and giving him everything he could handle.

“F**** tough guy,” Chimaev said about his opponent. “I didn’t know he was so tough. Thank you for this fight, Gilbert. I love you brother, all respect. He did three rounds strong. I f****** worked hard for everything. That guy was f****** good today.

“I’m happy. These are the things I was waiting for a long time. Now I’m bloody. I’m tired. I feel a little bit of pain. I love this s***.”

It took Chimaev no time to march across the cage, close the distance and then work for the takedown to put Burns on the canvas when the fight first started. Burns eventually got back to his feet where he began establishing his striking arsenal including a stiff leg kick and a couple of hard left hands that backed up Chimaev momentarily.

Just when it looked like Burns was gaining momentum, Chimaev sat him down with a perfectly timed straight punch that dropped the Brazilian down to the ground. Chimaev followed up with some heavy shots from the top but Burns scrambled out of a bad position to return fire on the feet before the first round ended.

With Chimaev dedicated to his jab, Burns started to come back over the top with a heavy right hand that started to really give the Chechen some problems. Burns continued to attack with stinging combinations that started twisting Chimaev’s head around as the undefeated prospect was hurt for the first time since coming to the UFC.

As the time was running out in the second round, Burns uncorked a huge shot that buckled Chimaev’s knees before he dove forward to look for the takedown just as the horn sounded.

It was gut check time for both fighters with Chimaev seemingly having a little more in reserve with his conditioning as he started to push Burns back towards the cage to unleash punches in bunches. Burns looked wobbled at times but then he just started winging shots in return and Chimaev was forced to respect his power.

The final five minutes was pure mayhem but it was Chimaev’s ability to connect with more punches in succession while Burns was constantly searching for the one-shot knockout. When the final horn sounded, Chimaev embraced Burns as they left it all in the cage with the Jacksonville crowd praising their performances.

The win undoubtedly puts Chimaev into title contention with UFC president Dana White already mentioned Colby Covington as a potential next opponent for him.

As for Burns, he had no regrets about taking the risk to fight someone like Chimaev despite having far fewer accolades on his resume prior to Saturday night.

“I don’t care, I come in here to fight,” Burns said. “I go against the odds. I was No. 2, I’ll fight anyone. The odds against you, everybody’s against you but I have a huge heart. I’m going to keep fighting.”