Chimaev Targets Covington Vs. Masvidal Winner

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Chimaev Targets Covington Vs. Masvidal Winner

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Khamzat Chimaev may very well be the most dangerous Welterweight on the planet not named Kamaru Usman, and he wants to prove it.

The 27-year-old Chechnya, Russia native has gotten off to an unprecedented start inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon. In four fights, “Borz” has stopped all of his opponents and only absorbed two total strikes.

Chimaev’s last win was undeniably his biggest as he dominated perennial top 15 contender Li Jingliang en route to a first-round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights). Originally, the UFC had plans of launching Chimaev to the top of the division with what has since become a plagued bout between him and top three contender Leon Edwards.

Now, Chimaev has his sights set firmly on former title challenger Gilbert Burns. Then he wants the winner of UFC 272’s main event on Mar. 5 — Colby Covington or Jorge Masvidal.

“I think they will give us a great fight,” Chimaev told RT Sport (h/t MMA Junkie). “Masvidal is a slight favorite for me, but Colby is also a tough guy. He fights well. 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.”

Burns vs. Chimaev has yet to be made official but it’s a fight that both men have continually mentioned in recent months. For Burns, it would be just his second fight since coming up short against Usman at UFC 258 in Feb. 2021 (watch highlights). “Durinho” defeated fellow former title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 264 via unanimous decision.

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