For the first time in his UFC run, Khamzat Chimaev went through the wringer at UFC 273.
Unlike his previous fights that ended rather swiftly, his fight with Gilbert Burns was a close one. And for many, it was a true test for “Borz” and how he handles elite-level competition at welterweight.
But for close training partner Darren Till, what the 27-year-old went through against Burns could’ve been both life and career-changing experiences.
“I knew what Khamzat had and what he has inside, but what the best thing I think for this fight is, that he’s tasted a bit of getting punched and having to dig deep for the win,” Till told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “Cause that changes you as a fighter, as a man.
“So, I said to him backstage, I said to him, that’s what you needed. Like, this is probably the best outcome you could have had, cause now you’re going to train even harder and you’re gonna listen to your coach’s strategy more, and it’s not just about going out there and knocking guys out and toughing guys out, cause you’re gonna go up an unmovable force one day, which we came up against.
“Like, Gilbert on the night, he was strong and durable and stuff like that, so it was probably the best outcome, in my opinion.”
Now ranked number three at 170 pounds, Chimaev is being targeted to face former interim champion Colby Covington next. And for Till, Khamzat can get the job done via knockout.
“I think Khamzat can knock him out. I don’t think Colby’s felt power like Khamzat,” Till explained. “Like, I’ve changed my opinion a bit, because Colby’s a good fighter, but I just don’t see who he’s fighting who’s at the top of the level right now.
“Obviously Usman, but like, there’s no one [else]. Khamzat’s obviously come up real quick. I just think Khamzat’s got so much power and edge over him.
“Listen, Colby’s a terrific fighter, he’s phenomenal, but I see the win there with Khamzat, and I’d love to see that to get him ready for the title for Usman.”
Chimaev also earned a $50K Fight of the Night bonus for his performance against Burns. All of his five UFC wins have so far earned him post-fight bonuses.