Unbeaten phenomenon Khamza Shemayev passed the biggest test of his young career Saturday at UFC 273 After veteran warrior Gilbert Burns pushed him to a short distance from the end of his physical limits.
In a confirmed fight for the General Candidate and one of the greatest fights in UFC history, Chiamev improved to 11-0 after a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The three-round match was the first time Chemayev, 27, had come the distance since turning professional in 2018.
Chemayev, a native of Chechnya, Russia, who is fighting outside of Stockholm, Sweden, has perhaps become the most exciting prospect in UFC history and has lived up to this by showing his heart and resisting damage to a champion as Burns lured him into a bloody fight. A dramatic fight.
“Tough guy, I didn’t know he was so tough,” Chemayev said of Burns. “Man comes with a Brazilian heart. Thank you for this fight, Gilbert. I love you brother, all due respect. That’s just what I do for work to make money.” He made three rounds hard. You have worked hard for everything. I never stop my training if I don’t get hurt but this guy was fine today.”
Burns (20-5), the rare elite fighter who did his best to present his name as a test for a budding Shemayev, showed the kind of grit and aggressiveness that has become his character as a respected title contender. Just 15 months after losing a shot in the welterweight title to Camaro Usman despite bringing down the title holder, the 35-year-old Burns routinely responded to Chimaev’s massive punches in order to hold on.
“I’m against the odds, I don’t care,” Burns said. “I’ll fight anyone, it doesn’t matter.” “My goal is to become the champion and I have to fight against the strongest players. Every time I am here, I will give my all. They will have to kill me. I won don’t stop.”
Can’t get enough of boxing and mixed martial arts? Get the latest in combat sports from two of the best sports in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell For the best in-depth analysis and news, including immediate reaction at the conclusion of Saturday night’s PPV event.
Chimayev scored the first hard kick of the fight when his right hand visibly injured Burns in the first round. But the Brazilian pushed off well by mixing calf strikes with a powerful right-handed counterattack. Chemayev seemed to lock the opening frame, as he followed up the fore kick with a powerful blow to bring down Burns, who started bleeding shortly after the punch to the top of the head.
Burns held his ground in the second round and continued to briefly bring down Chimayev with a short left hook as the drama in the fight intensified. Shemayev reappears to land a huge group before a fight erupts with Shemayev quickly bleeding from his nose.
Chimayev was dropped a second time to finish the second round on the right of a counter-right from Burns. The final round saw Shemayev almost stop Burns after hitting him in the body. With both fighters exhausted, Burns earned a pair of rights late.
“I am happy. This stage is what I have been waiting for for a long time,” Shemayev said. “I wanted to be 11-0 by finishes at 11. But I love this stage.”
“Food ninja. Friendly thinker. Explorer. Entrepreneur. Zombie junkie.