They battled during the featured bout on April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida, and the contest delivered in a big way. There were a lot of unknowns heading in Saturday night, specifically because of the mystery surrounding Chimaev’s skillset and deepwater grit.
Fans and analysts knew Chimaev was a force to be reckoned with, especially after his back-to-back first-round destructive victories over Li Jingliang and Gerald Meerschaert. However, it was unclear if Borz could handle the welterweight elite, like Burns.
Well, Chimaev proved that he can. It was a grueling back-and-forth fight that saw both men battered and bruised, and it lasted all three rounds. And as history has it, the judges gave the fight to Borz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). The clash also earned the “Fight of the Night” honors.
Daniel Cormier, Henry Cejudo & Others React to the Fight
Here are some of the best reactions from the UFC and combat sports world:
Former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo tweeted: “Khamzat passed the test, who should be next for Borz?”
Ex-UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier tweeted: “Respect! Great Fight!!”
MMA betting analyst Luca Fury tweeted: “Khamzat Chimaev’s striking defense is poor. He just puts his hands up in the classic boxing guard while standing completely stationary and not even moving his head at all. He’s wide open to counters when exchanging too.”
Boxing trainer and combat sports analyst Teddy Atlas tweeted: “Test passed. Chimaev is real! What a way to prove yourself. Wow!”
Former two-division UFC champion Daniel Cormier tweeted: “Right call! But what a damn fight boys!!! @KChimaev and @GilbertDurinho take a bow fellas!”
“Morning Kombat” host Luke Thomas tweeted: “So, how good is Khamzat Chimaev? Not invincible, but he’s a title contender. And if he can keep progressing, there is simply no doubt he will be champion.”
Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tweeted: “Holy shit. What a fight!!! Burns/Chimaev.”
Conor McGregor’s training partner and 2-0 mixed martial artist Dillon Danis wrote: “baby b**** Khamzat Chimaev imagine what i would do to you little talking a** b****.”
MMA Junkie’s Nolan King tweeted: “That fight showed Khamzat Chimaev is legit – more than a 15-second knockout would’ve. He faced adversity and showed he can adjust. That is an absolute, positive of a championship caliber fighter. And now he’s proven he has it.”
White Praised Chimaev for What He’s Done Inside the Octagon In Such a Short Period of Time
While speaking with the media at the post-fight press conference, White gave his take on Chimaev vs. Burns, which he crowned the fight of the night.
“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 praised Chimaev for “coming out of nowhere” in 2020 and then earning a win over the No. 2-ranked welterweight in the world.
“Tonight was a big test for him,” White said of Chimaev. “And he passed.”