Darren Till thinks Gilbert Burns is the best thing that’s ever happened to Khamzat Chimaev.
At UFC 273, Chimaev and Burns fought in a featured welterweight bout that ended up becoming a Fight of the Year contender. Though Chimaev ultimately took home a unanimous decision win, “Borz” faced his first bit of adversity in the UFC, taking 118 more strikes than he had an his previous four fights combined and even being dropped in the second round. And for his newfound teammate and friend, Darren Till, the experience was just what he needed.
“I knew what Khamzat had and what he has inside, but what the best thing I think for this fight is, that he’s tasted a bit of getting punched and having to dig deep for the win. Cause that changes you as a fighter, as a man,” Till told Submission Radio. “So, I said to him backstage, I said to him, that’s what you needed. Like, this is probably the best outcome you could have had, cause now you’re going to train even harder and you’re gonna listen to your coaches strategy more, and it’s not just about going out there and knocking guys out and toughing guys out, cause you’re gonna go up an unmovable force one day, which we came up against. Like, Gilbert on the night, he was strong and durable and stuff like that, so it was probably the best outcome, in my opinion.”
Till is not alone in believing this fight will ultimately prove invaluable for the rising Chimaev, with former middleweight contender and UFC analyst Brian Stann saying something similar recently. However, for all the people impressed by Chimaev’s performance, just as many have been critical of “Borz”. Following the fight, the narrative quickly started to circulate that Chimaev had been exposed as another hype job, something UFC President Dana White took umbrage with, saying anyone who believed that was “out of your mind.” Similarly, Till thinks that the people criticizing Chimaev’s performance are being ridiculous.
“It’s like, people are saying, ‘oh, well Khamzat, he took this punch and that punch, and he was messing about, warming up before the fight with Darren’. It’s like, guys, the guy was number 11, he’s had four fights in the UFC and he just came in and beat the number two guy. Like, are you for real?” Till said. “How can you hate on the guy for that s***? Like, the guy’s a f****** superstar. The guy’s the only legitimate superstar right now in the UFC, up and coming. The rest of the guys, there’s a lot of up-and-comers in the UFC right now, and it’s good to see them up and coming, but they’re slowly working their way up. Khamzat’s just come in the UFC and just took everyone on. It’s like, who else has done that?”
Next up for Chimaev appears to be a date with one-time interim welterweight champion Colby Covington. In the build up to UFC 273, Dana White said that would be the fight the UFC would target if Chimaev won and afterwards, White confirmed they would still be looking to make that matchup, potentially as a headliner for a UFC on ABC card later this year. And if and when it happens, Till believes Chimaev is going to punch his ticket to a title shot.
“I would like to see him fight Colby in a five-round main event, and I think that’s the best thing for both guys,” Till said. “I think Khamzat can knock him out. I don’t think Colby’s felt power like Khamzat. Like, I’ve changed my opinion a bit, because Colby’s a good fighter, but I just don’t see who he’s fighting who’s at the top of the top of the level right now. Obviously Usman, but like, there’s no one [else]. Khamzat’s obviously come up real quick. I just think Khamzat’s got so much power and edge over him. Listen, Colby’s a terrific fighter, he’s phenomenal, but I see the win there with Khamzat, and I’d love to see that to get him ready for the title for Usman.”
Results. Patricio Pitbull reclaims featherweight title, light heavyweight Grand Prix ends in No Contest at Bellator 277.
Results. Belal Muhammad exacts his revenge, wins decision over Vicente Luque at UFC Vegas 51.
Results. Roberto Satoshi taps Johnny Case with nasty triangle choke, defends belt at RIZIN 35.
Call out. Belal Muhammad calls out ‘coward’ Colby Covington after dominant win over Vicente Luque in UFC Vegas 51 main event.
Bad decision. Mounir Lazzez explains why he shouted out alleged crime boss Daniel Kinahan in UFC Vegas 51 post-fight speech.
Trilogy. A.J. McKee won’t drop to featherweight for trilogy with Patricio Pitbull.
Hype. Kamaru Usman thinks Khamzat Chimaev got ‘caught up’ in own hype before UFC 273, ‘absolutely’ sees holes in his game.
Hopes. Dana White hopeful Jon Jones can fight in summer, Stipe Miocic ‘makes sense’.
Beef. Jake Paul goes in on Michael Bisping: ‘I started wiping my tears away with $50 million’ I made in 2021’
UFC Vegas 51 and Bellator 277 Post Shows.
UFC Vegas 51 Post-Fight Press Conference.
Michael Bisping responding to Jake Paul.
On To The Next One. Matches to make following UFC Vegas 51.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Hey @danawhite I’m ready July 5 rounder colby or khamzat just hit my line— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) April 18, 2022
I keep ALL receipts. A few weeks ago this guy was talking loud on my sis n laws post about me "getting washed" come April 15th... Today I went back to see what he had to say today. He's been kinda quiet since. #keepthatsameenergy #Bellator277 pic.twitter.com/Q9nOBM8EEX— Corey 'Overtime' Anderson (@CoreyA_MMA) April 17, 2022
Happy Birthday Nathaniel https://t.co/yiordXrG5a— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 16, 2022
Get a deal done and get that ass whipped for your birthday— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 16, 2022
Bruh no one likes you and u suck someone need a to put a purple belt on you thanks for da bday wishes tho— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 16, 2022
Anthony Smith seems to be forgetting that Dana White would never allow this.
We can keep playing this fucking game with him but he’s not gonna play. He wants to take shots at a guy that has accomplished the world and moved on, and would still beat him. I’ll say yes, ill get licensed, and I’ll beat his ass in any sport…he wouldn’t dare say my name.— Anthony Smith (@lionheartasmith) April 18, 2022
I get to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate. 4/16/2022 #TheHolloways pic.twitter.com/Ku8d9OeUNJ— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 17, 2022
#HappyEaster to you #MMA yokel-s. Eggcited to see Khamzat’s next fight, impressed his brains didn’t get scrambled by that punch Burns landed. A lot of fighters would’ve shelled up. People eggspected the Chimaev fight to be over easy in the 1st but Burns was a hard boiled test. pic.twitter.com/zosVSTvwRG— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) April 17, 2022
Alexander Volkov (34-10) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-3); UFC Fight Night, June 4.
Julian Marquez (9-2) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (11-4); UFC Fight Night, June 18.
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