Belal Muhammad is making a bold prediction for Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev.
Muhammad (20-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC), who will have his eyes fixed on Saturday’s welterweight showdown between Burns and Chimaev at UFC 273, is siding with the heavy underdog in the bout.
With the odds heavily stacked in Chimaev’s (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) favor, Muhammad thinks Burns (20-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) not only will pull off a big upset, but he’ll stop the undefeated star.
“I think Burns finishes him in the second round,” Muhammad told ESPN. “I don’t think Khamzat’s going to come out there shooting on Burns. I think it’s going to be moreso on the feet – and Burns, he throws bombs. He’s not afraid to throw hard. I don’t think it’s really going to be a wrestling match between either one of them. I don’t think either one of them is really going to go for the grappling.
“I think it’s going to be all on the feet, and if Khamzat gets a little bit too long or lazy with his jab or cross, Burns could come over the top – especially with that calf kick, too. I think it’s going to lead to Khamzat having to switch stances, maybe, and then I don’t know how he is as a southpaw, but your defense is usually not as good as you are with your orthodox stance.”
Muhammad, who said he was offered fights with both Chimaev and Burns, is gearing up for his own pivotal welterweight clash. Unbeaten in his past seven fights, Muhammad will rematche Vicente Luque in the UFC on ESPN 34 main event April 16.
UFC 273 takes place Saturday at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.