Daniel Cormier thinks Khamzat Chimaev should get a significant step up in competition after UFC 267.
Chimaev (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) ran through Li Jingliang for another dominant finish this past Saturday, and the unbeaten 27-year-old has been hit only once in four UFC fights.
After submitting Jingliang, Chimaev expressed interest in Nate Diaz and although UFC president Dana White is also on board, Cormier would rather see Chimaev go up against former title challenger Gilbert Burns.
“For Khamzat Chimaev? It’s time to give him one of the higher-ranked guys,” Cormier said on his ESPN show “DC & RC.” “And I think a guy that could be good for him is Gilbert Burns. Because Gilbert Burns has a well rounded skill set, he’s a great wrestler, he’s a great jiu-jitsu guy, his standup has improved, and he’s back. Right? So he lost the title fight to Kamaru (Usman) but then he beat Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in his last fight and showed that he’s back on the winning track, so that makes sense for (Chimaev).”
Burns won four straight en route to a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. Although he fell short when he was TKO’d in the second round, Burns was able to hurt Usman in the first. Burns then rebounded from his first loss at welterweight by defeating former title challenger Stephen Thompson at UFC 264 in a fight where his grappling was in full force.
Burns is as game as they come, and with Chimaev entering the UFC’s welterweight rankings at No. 10, he could be the perfect test for Chimaev to prove that he’s a championship-level fighter.