Gilbert Burns: It’ll be a long night for Khamzat Chimaev if Paulo Costa defends his takedowns

Gilbert Burns expects Khamzat Chimaev to have a hard time against Paulo Costa if he can’t get him down.

Chimaev (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) returns for his first fight since September 2022 when he takes on Costa (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC 294 on Oct. 21 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Burns gave Chimaev the toughest test of his career, when he pushed him to the brink in a war at UFC 273. Burns ended up losing by unanimous decision, but had unbeaten Chimaev in trouble during the fight.

“That is a good one,” Burns said during a Q&A in Singapore. “I’m even going to make a big breakdown of that on my YouTube channel, but it’s a very close fight. I think it’s going to be decided in the clinch.

“I think Khamzat will come with a lot of pressure, try to take Costa down. If he’s able, it’s going to be a big problem for Costa. But if Costa defends and can get away and use the striking, it’s going to be a long night for Khamzat.”

If the fight stays on the feet, Burns sees Costa getting the best of Chimaev.

“I think it’s a very close fight and it will be decided in the clinch,” Burns said. “If Khamzat can take him down, Khamzat wins. But if Costa can defend it and use the striking, then Costa wins – very close fight.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie