Khamzat Chimaev could not be the best fighter in the world for a pound for a pound. He can’t even be a UFC champion. Nothing, obviously, is beyond question, but even if he does not achieve any goal, it is not a bar.
The guy has written himself a full star, and with his performance Saturday in a breathtaking battle with Gilbert Burns at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on the main cover of UFC 273, he took another big step toward the top of the pile.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, there has not been much love for Russia or the Russians. At every UFC event since the start of the war, the mention of the word Russia when a warplane was introduced led to a loud, lustful chorus.
The stadium exploded when Simeov, who was born in Chechnya, Russia, went into the octagon for a fight with Burns. The fans roared for everything he did.
This fight was awarded the Fight of the Night award and being the leading runner for Fight of the Year did not hurt. When UFC President Dana White announced the post-fight bonus winners, she laughed when Fight of the Night arrived.
“If you do not know what a night fight is, you probably should not be here,” he said with a smile.
There are a lot of enthusiastic fighters in the UFC who usually win Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night bonuses, they are not already as popular as Simeov. And his popularity is going to grow even more.
On Monday of Fight Week, White told Yahoo Sports that pay-per-view was trending like a Connor Macrigor fight. Macrigor is the largest draw in MMA and his PPVs continue to sell over 1 million.
ESPN has the payment rights and does not want the numbers to be published, so White has categorically refused to provide an estimate. However, be sure that this is going to do a significant number.
“We had two head fights on the cover and he gets anyone’s attention,” White said.
One of the main reasons to prove that there are not 15 seconds in the fight. The bell rang and Simeov ran into Burns, shot with his right hand, and went for a drop. Struggling at a frantic pace from start to finish.
But it takes courage for him to be willing to fight someone like Burns. Simeov made his UFC debut in 2020 and won two fights in 10 days and his third win in two months, knocking out middleweight Gerald Meershirt in 17 seconds.
He has the Swagger that some in the history of war games have. Mohammed Ali had it more than anyone in any sport. Mike Tyson had it too. McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Chuck Liddell had it in the MMA.
He does not care what weight class he is fighting for. He doesn’t care about the opponent’s rankings. He wants to fight as often as he can.
If Kovit-19 had not been caught in late 2020, who would have known where he would be. It was so bad, at one point he announced his retirement.
It slowed down a bit, but when he returned in October, he got into a fight with Li Jingliang, grabbed Jingliang at the opening bell, took him to where White was sitting, and started it again by engaging in conversation with White. To beat Jingliang.
He introduced a new word in our dictionary – smash – and destroyed everyone he encountered until he met Burns.
Burns, a different character. He became No. 2 in the Welderweight rankings for a reason, an experienced, polished guy with excellent jiu-jitsu skills and an amazing all-around game.
He did not allow Sime to pierce the bell or move around the ring like a bundle of potatoes. He knocked down Simeov twice in the second round and landed a series of good shots.
After two the fight hung in the balance. Simeov clearly won the first and Burns clearly took the second.
When the third started, Simeov had no one to tell him what to do, however his coaches allowed him for his performance in the middle round.
When the bell rang, DJ. Wat Paul Blitz did the Blitz, followed the frightened quarterback and won the fight with sheer courage and determination.
Later, he was asked if Burns had changed his mind about how hard he struggled to win at the elite level in the UFC. Before the fight, he boasted about how easily he beat Burns and how he considered himself a champion.
Burns waged a fierce battle and noted how hard the opponents are within the top 5 spots at the championship level.
“I do not care. Do you think I’m not hard? “He said.” I showed my heart. I am tougher than everyone else. I will beat and crush them all.
He has great time power and top wrestling so he is going to be a problem no matter who he fights in or who he faces.
But he is going to sell because he is also one of the rare fighters who wants to come and see and hear crowds of people. There are a lot of reasons for his popularity, but they all add up to a whole lot more than the sum of its parts.
He’s a guy equal to 10 plus two.
He can become a freelancer, fight in middleweight and welterweight, pick the best and most attractive matches in cherry.
He’s likely to fight No. 1 Colby Govinding next, and he’s going to fail somewhere, because in the MMA, almost everyone does. How the game looks and why it is so popular.
Success is important to Sim, but it’s only part of the package.
Get ready for the Simeov era because in the next five or more years you are going to see him everywhere.
He may be the face of the UFC before he finishes.