“Borz” entered the Octagon in Jacksonville, Florida, as the No. 11-ranked fighter in the 170-pound division, as per the official UFC website, and he faced off against Burns, who held the No. 2 spot.
The two welterweights collided for three, hard-fought rounds. It was a tit-for-tat war, with each fighter hurting the other several times on the feet. But in the end, Borz earned the judges’ decision via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Chimaev extended his undefeated professional mixed martial arts record to 11-0, and “Durinho’s” record fell to 20-5. With the win, Chimaev will surely take over Burns’ top-two spot, or at the very least, break into the top five of the talent-stacked weight class.
With UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman recovering from hand surgery, as well as UFC president Dana White confirming that No. 3 Leon Edwards will receive the next crack at “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Borz will likely fight one more time to earn himself a title shot.
UFC President Dana White Said It Was ‘Inevitable’ That Chimaev Was Pushed By the Welterweight Elite
As the betting lines suggested, many believed Chimaev was going to run through Burns like he did all his other opponents inside the UFC’s cage. But that didn’t happen. Chimaev had to dig deep, especially in the latter part of the fight. The Brazilian landed thunderous shots throughout and his resilience held up when Borz delivered his own punishment.
During the UFC 273 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White was asked if it was “better” that Chimaev got the experience of an Octagon war as opposed to earning a quick finish over Burns.
“I don’t think it’s better, it’s inevitable,” White answered. “Nobody rolls through anybody when you’re at this level. Not to say that something couldn’t catch somebody and things like that, those things happen. But, you heard Gilbert. Gilbert said, ‘I was prepared to die tonight. I wasn’t going to come in here and roll over.'”
Chimaev vs. Burns received “Fight of the Night” honors, the UFC president confirmed at the presser. “It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the coolest fights I’ve ever been to,” White said. “The place was so loud. People were going crazy. That fight was eclipsing the co-main and main event all week.”
White said that fighting Durinho was a “big test” for Chimaev, and he “passed.”
The UFC president was so impressed with Burns, however, that he also told the media that he’ll give the Brazilian his win money, along with his guaranteed show money.
Chimaev Gave Major Props to Burn’s ‘Brazilian Heart’
After Borz had his hand raised in the middle of the Octagon, he was interviewed by UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. And Chimaev gave major props to his opponent, who gave him the toughest fight of his career.
“I didn’t know he was so tough,” Chimaev said via Bleacher Report. “The guy came out with Brazilian heart. I know Brazilians. … They’re f****** tough.”