Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev UFC 273 Odds, Pick, Prediction (Saturday, April 9)

Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev UFC 273 Odds, Pick, Prediction (Saturday, April 9) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Khamzat Chimaev.

  • Undefeated rising star Khamzat Chimaev and Welterweight challenger Gilbert Burns will meet in a highly anticipated UFC 273 matchup.
  • Chimaev is a huge favorite to win this matchup (-550 moneyline) coming off four consecutive finishes.
  • Sean Zerillo explains why this fight could end quickly.

Gilbert Burns vs. Khamzat Chimaev Odds

Burns Odds
Chimaev Odds
1.5 (+105 / -130)
VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Fla.
Approx. 11 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via BetMGM.

The No. 2-ranked Welterweight looks to start a new win streak Saturday when he goes head-to-head with rising star and No. 11-ranked Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273.

Chimaev enters the fight undefeated and has finished all four of his UFC opponents, including three first-round stoppages. Burns scored a bounce back win against Stephen Thompson last summer after losing a title fight to Kamaru Usman, his training partner for this fight.

Below, I’ll provide my analysis and projections for Saturday’s matchup. For more analysis on the rest of the card, you can check out my projections for the entire slate here.

Tale of the Tape

Avg. Fight Time11:283:14
Weight (pounds)170 lbs.170 lbs.
Reach (inches)71"75"
Date of birth7/20/865/1/94
Sig Strikes Per Min3.128.68
SS Accuracy46%77%
SS Absorbed Per Min2.900.08
SS Defense55%75%
Take Down Avg2.164.65
TD Acc36%66%
TD Def50%0%
Submission Avg0.65.8

Chimaev, the most interesting man in MMA, has dispatched four UFC opponents in just under 12 combined minutes of fight time, ascending divisional rankings as quickly as any MMA prospect in recent memory.

While it's within the realm of possibilities that Khamzat turns out to be the MMA goat, one-punches his way through Burns, finishes Colby Covington, and demolishes both Kamaru Usman and then Israel Adesanya, it's MUCH MUCH likelier that he entered the UFC much closer to a finished product than anyone has before.

If Burns, Covington, or Usman faced John Phillips or Rhys McKee midway through 2020, wouldn't they have performed relatively similar performances as Khamzat? Possibly, those are regional-level fighters.

However, the Gerald Meerschaert knockout and Li Jiangliang submission stand out. Chimaev walked through a pair of established UFC veterans and looked -1000 in hindsight.

All three would have won those matchups with relative ease, but frankly, I don't think any of the top three Welterweights would have looked quite THAT dominant.

Burns vs. Chimaev Pick

There are still so many question marks surrounding Khamzat. How does he react when he takes a big punch? How does his cardio hold up after seven minutes, 10 minutes, or 12? How will he react when (if?) he finally faces some adversity? How good is his striking when he gets stuck or decides to stay at range for an extended period?

And Burns possesses enough finishing upside, in general, to present a severe test. Burns is a former Lightweight and will be at a size disadvantage against Khamzat who looks like a natural Middleweight.

Still, Burns can crack on the feet — he nearly finished Usman in the first round of their bout — and, like Dern, he's one of the best submission grapplers in the world, pound-for-pound.

That said, Burns is a bit of a glass cannon — he's chinny. Usman put him down with some clean jabs and he doesn't have great cardio. Burns tends to fall off a cliff in the third round — he was hanging on for dear life in his recent win over "Wonderboy" and looked very skittish in all extended exchanges.

While it's entirely possible that, in an extended fight, Khamzat may fade down the stretch, Burns will be right there with him, wilting away. And I have difficulty seeing both men surviving 15-minutes, given the intense and nearly unprecedented pace that Khamzat pushes from the opening bell.

I projected the fight to end inside the distance 76% of the time, implied odds of -315, and I laid the juice on that prop (-244 at PointsBet). I would play that number up to -250.

The Pick: Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-244, 0.5u)

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