Darren Till has hailed his friend Khamzat Chimaev as “the only legitimate superstar” in MMA’s premier promotion right now.
During a recent appearance on Submission RadioTill was asked about Chimaev’s rise from No.11 to No.3 in the UFC welterweight rankings following his victory over Gilbert Burns at UFC 273.
The Englishman drew comparisons between Chimaev’s current situation and his own after defeating Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Stephen Thompson a number of years ago.
“I did the same exact thing when I beat ‘Cowboy’. I went straight to the number one contender with ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and beat the ‘Wonderboy’. Like, it’s the exact same scenario like me, and it was just the same in every way and aspect.”
Next, Till slammed Chimaev’s critics and emphasized the Chechen-born Swede’s legitimacy and stardom. He questioned how people can hate him after beating Gilbert Burns, a former title challenger who was ranked No.2 prior to UFC 273.
Darren Till said:
“It’s like, people are saying, ‘Oh well,’ you know? … He was messing about before… The guy with number 11, he’s had four fights in the UFC and he just come in and beat the number two guy… How can you hate on the guy like, for that s **t? The guy’s af*****g superstar. The guy’s the only legitimate superstar right now in the UFC.”
Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns fought in an action-packed bout at UFC 273, where ‘Borz’ prevailed over ‘Durinho’ via unanimous decision. This was the first time Chimaev was forced to go the distance in MMA.
The memorable bout received immense praise from fans and fellow fighters. It’s already being regarded as a sure-fire ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.
Watch Darren Till’s appearance on Submission Radio below:
Darren Till details why Gilbert Burns bout should change Khamzat Chimaev as a fighter
During the same interview, Darren Till shared his thoughts on why the Gilbert Burns bout should change Khamzat Chimaev as a competitor.
Till was asked if something surprised him when ‘Borz’ and ‘Durinho’ shared the octagon on April 9. While he doesn’t believe anything shocked him, the Englishman believes there was something good that came out of it for Chimaev.
“I know what Khamzat has inside him. The best thing for this fight is that he’s tasted a bit of like getting punched and authentically digging deep for the win. Because that changes you… I said to him backstage, that’s what you needed. This is probably the best outcome you can have had because now you’re going to train even harder and now you’re going to listen to your coach’s strategy more. It’s not just about going out there and knocking guys out.”
Only time will tell if Till’s words ring true. Khamzat Chimaev now has an unblemished 11-0 professional MMA record, with 10 out of his 11 victories coming during the first two rounds.
It’s safe to say that Gilbert Burns tested Chimaev’s durability. However, during the UFC 273 post-fight press conference, ‘Borz’ said that despite experiencing a three-round war, he’ll not change his aggressive fighting style and will still be looking to finish his opponents as soon as possible.