In the world of mixed martial arts, anticipation is building for the upcoming clash between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa at UFC 294, set to take place in Abu Dhabi next month. While the odds may favor Chimaev, Gilbert Burns, who’s no stranger to high-stakes battles in the octagon, has some mixed feelings about this middleweight contender matchup that could potentially set the winner on a collision course with the new champion, Sean Strickland.
Burns, who faced off against Chimaev in April 2022 in what was one of the year’s most thrilling encounters, knows firsthand the caliber of the undefeated superstar. Despite putting up a valiant effort, Burns fell short, losing via unanimous decision. Now, as Chimaev prepares to face off against Brazilian powerhouse Paulo Costa, Burns isn’t necessarily throwing his support behind either fighter.
“Costa — like everybody’s saying — is huge,” Burns shared with MiddleEasy. “He’s a big guy but I don’t think he has the heart that I have. I don’t think he has the jiu-jitsu that I have. He doesn’t have the get-ups that I have. He doesn’t have the submission threat that I have that kind of made Khamzat not want to grapple. I think he’s very strong and a big guy but I think he’s gonna gas.”
Burns’ candid assessment of the fighters sets the stage for what promises to be an epic showdown. He doesn’t mince words when he expresses his desire for a double knockout, a sentiment that’s sure to resonate with MMA fans who crave excitement and unpredictability.
“I don’t like both of these guys. Double knockout would be the best result but I don’t know. It’s a 50-50 fight,” Burns commented. “If Khamzat is able to take him down, I think it will be a harder night for Costa but in the other way too, if Costa is able to defend the takedown, it will be a hard night for Khamzat so I think we’re gonna see the winner with how the first round goes.”
After his memorable clash with Chimaev, Burns continued to make waves in the MMA world, racking up a 2-1 record in his next three fights. His journey included an impressive submission victory over Neil Magny and a retirement win against Jorge Masvidal. However, his momentum was halted when he accepted a short-notice five-round co-main event bout against Belal Muhammad at UFC 288 in May, resulting in a unanimous decision loss and a shoulder injury.
Looking ahead, Burns has his sights set on securing a title shot, and he’s not keen on taking any more risks than necessary. “I’m not gonna be gambling again trying to get the toughest fight,” he explained. “I fought everybody but I want to fight the guys ahead of me and we’ll see. I fought three times this year. No one in the top 10 fought since, you know? I gotta see these guys fighting, we want to see who I’m fighting next but that’s all I’m looking for. A big win against a top-ranked opponent and get a title shot. I believe one amazing finish will give me a title shot. If not, two.”
In the world of MMA, where unpredictability is the norm, the showdown between Chimaev and Costa promises to be a highlight of the year. Gilbert Burns’ candid assessment and desire for a double knockout only add to the excitement surrounding this battle between two formidable fighters. MMA fans can mark their calendars for UFC 294 and get ready for a showdown that could shape the future of the middleweight division.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Showdown
What is the main event of UFC 294?
The main event of UFC 294 is the highly anticipated showdown between Khamzat Chimaev and Paulo Costa in the middleweight division.
Who is Gilbert Burns, and why is he mentioned in the article?
Gilbert Burns is an accomplished MMA fighter who has faced Khamzat Chimaev in the past. He is mentioned in the article because he shares his thoughts and predictions for the upcoming Chimaev vs. Costa fight.
Why does Gilbert Burns hope for a double knockout in the fight?
Gilbert Burns expresses his desire for a double knockout in a humorous manner, emphasizing his dislike for both fighters. It’s a playful way to convey his mixed feelings about Chimaev and Costa.
What does the term “50-50 fight” mean in the context of the article?
In the article, the term “50-50 fight” refers to the perception that the outcome of the Chimaev vs. Costa matchup is highly uncertain, with an equal chance of either fighter winning. It highlights the unpredictability and excitement surrounding the bout.