Dana White says Khamzat Chimaev will likely face Colby Covington next with a win at UFC 273

UFC 273 may feature two title bouts, but the welterweight match between No. 2 ranked Gilbert Burns and undefeated Khamzat Chimaev has generated the biggest buzz.

Chimaev (10-0) has finished every one of his opponents since debuting in the fight promotion in July 2020. Only one of his UFC opponents has made it out of the first round. In his entire MMA career, which began in May 2018, Chimaev hasn’t seen a third round. And he’s scored seven first-round stoppages.

Despite being ranked No. 11, Chimaev will enter his fight against the higher ranked Burns as a heavy betting favorite. The matchup is trending higher than either of the title bouts.

“The fight is huge,” UFC president Dana White said during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “It’s funny because if you look at how stacked this card is and how many great fights there are; and the main the the co-main are awesome; that fight is outperforming the main and co-main by by seven or eight times on social media.”

Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan teams get in altercation backstage at UFC 273 weigh-in | Video

“Khamzat Chimaev is somebody that people are very excited about. People want to know if he’s for real. He’s taking on the No. 2 welterweight in the world, and a guy like Gilbert Burns who has knockout power in both hands, an unbelievable ground game. And people feel like he’s that much of an underdog to Khamzat,” White said.

If Chimaev defeats Burns, it likely won’t be enough to leapfrog Leon Edwards to a title fight against champion Karmaru Usman.

“I think that if Khamzat Chimaev wins this weekend, we see him and Colby Covington next,” White said.

Covington is the top ranked contender in the 170-pound division, but has two losses to the champion. A win over Covington would guarantee a title shot, but Chimaev has to get past Burns first.