TMZ Sports talked to 35-year-old Burns — the first time the UFC star has broken his silence since leaving the Octagon after losing a 3-round decision at UFC 273 — and chopped it up about everything from a rematch, what it was fighting Khamzat, to how Chimaev would fare against champ Kamaru Usman (Burns is the only person to face both).
Oh, and Gilbert is also interested in scrapping with Nate Diaz… if that rematch with Borz isn’t immediate.
Full Interview ⬇️⬇️⬇️
But, first … we asked Gilbert if he won the fight (technically, all three judges scored the fight for Khamzat, but the fight was razer close), and that’s when he called for the rematch.
“I believe it was super close. I don’t want to take nothing away from Khamzat, he was a warrior in there, too. I just believe we are not done. We have to do this again.”
Burns later continued … “Even if I think it’s fair, wasn’t fair, I don’t want to take no credit from those 15 minutes. It was genuine, it was a lot of heart, it was a lot of intensity, intimacy, I don’t want to take nothing away from that.”
“I think the judges do whatever they have to do, but I’m just thinking we aren’t done. Me and Khamzat have to see each other again. Somebody gotta go down next time, I don’t care how many rounds we need in there.”
We also asked GB what was it like to face MMA’s boogeyman … a guy many believed was indestructible.
As you may know … Khamzat only absorbed one “significant” shot in his first four UFC fights. But, that was before he stepped in the cage with Gilbert … who put 119 significant shots on Chimaev (KC landed 108 significant strikes).
So, what was it like to be in there with Khamzat??
“Definitely a lot of pop in his hands. That guy hits very hard. But like I said before, I have a ton of respect for this guy, but I don’t see no Super Man. I don’t see no murderer, no monster. I see a guy just like me with a lot of will, a lot of heart, trying to get a finish.”
The UFC rankings came out on Tuesday, and Chimaev jumped from 11 to 3 (Gilbert went from 2 to 4). Prior to the fight, UFC prez Dana White told us he was eyeing a Khamzat vs. Colby Covington fight (#1 contender).
If Chimaev was able to beat Covington, it’s all but guaranteed he’d get a fight with Usman.
So, as the only UFC fighter to face both Khamzat and Kamaru, we asked Burns who’d win.
“That would be a tough fight. I still think Kamaru hits harder. Kamaru put me out, you know? [Khamzat] hit me with everything and he didn’t put me out.”
“The difference as of right now, for sure, after these wars, that guy’s gonna get better, I believe. The IQ of Kamaru Usman, if I gotta answer that question right now, will be the difference. Kamaru is a very intelligent and tested fighter. He’s been in the wars, he’s been against best guys around and I think Kamaru’s MMA wrestling is better than Khamzat’s. That’s my takeaway.”
Burns knows he likely won’t get an immediate rematch with Chimaev … so he has an alternative opponent in mind.
“I want a big fight. I know Nate Diaz need an opponent. I think that will be a crazy fight. I can put in the contract ‘no takedown attempts.’ Just stand up,” Gilbert says.
“Nate, maybe Nick [Diaz], maybe [Jorge] Masvidal. I don’t know. Right now I’m just gonna focus on my recovery, and spend time with my family.”