Khamzat Chimaev sees Gilbert Burns as a gateway to Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington

  • Tom Ward

Khamzat Chimaev believes that an impressive win over Gilbert Burns will earn him a shot at the winner of Jorge Masvidal‘s clash with Colby Covington.

The UFC is close to finalizing a potential No1 welterweight contender bout between the Russian-born Swedish MMA fighter and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace on April 9, according to reports.

Chimaev, 27, has outlanded his opponents a combined 252-2 times during his incredible undefeated career.

The Swede continued his 4-0 start in the UFC in Abu Dhabi last October, defeating perennial contender Li Jingliang via first-round submission.

And although he acknowledges the fight game is almost impossible to predict, he doesn’t think Burns will be much of a challenge.

Chimaev told RT Sport: “All those numbers mean nothing. 

“To be honest, I don’t see a real challenge in him. We’ll see. Everything may happen in a fight, but I’m confident, as usual.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 19: In this handout image provided by UFC, Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya celebrates after his knockout victory over Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“I think I will just smash him with my skills and power. I feel that way. He might feel different, but I will go there and do what I did the last time.”

Masvidal and Covington will meet in the main event of UFC 272 next month on March 5 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Chimaev revealed he will be paying close attention but says he doesn’t care who wins as he wants to fight them anyway.

He added: “I think they will give us a great fight. Masvidal is a slight favourite for me, but Colby is also a tough guy. He fights well.

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“We’ll see. I think it’s 50-50. I don’t care which one of them wins.

“I am fighting Burns now, then, after beating Burns, hopefully I will fight the winner of Masvidal-Covington because it seems like Usman has a hand injury and needs time to recover.

“I hope he will recover soon, so I am waiting for this guy, too. Looking forward to fighting him.

“But for now, I think the winner of my fight with Gilbert will fight the winner of Masvidal-Covington for the interim title or just for the No. 1 contender spot, and then Usman should come back, and we will fight him. This looks like a good plan to me.”

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