UFC 273: Khamzat Chimaev Says Jones, Not Usman, Pound-for-Pound Best

A quick look at the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings shows Kamaru Usman, the reigning welterweight champion, topping the list. That’s not something that sits all that well with rising welterweight (and middleweight) star Khamzat Chimaev.

Speaking at the UFC 273 media day on Wednesday, ahead of a hotly anticipated (hot? frankly scorching) bout with Gilbert Burns, Chimaev questioned the wisdom of Usman ranking ahead of former light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.

“I don’t think so,” Chimaev (10-0) replied when asked about Usman’s status as the pound-for-pound best. “Because for instance, still, Jon Jones is here. Nobody can be pound-for-pound, I don’t think so. Who makes that pound-for-pound sh*t? Nobody did what Jon Jones did. He’s one of the best guys in this game. [There’s] nobody like him.”

While Jones hasn’t fought since 2020, he’s currently preparing for a debut in the heavyweight division — and is ranked #7 on the UFC’s pound-for-pound list. As for Usman, Chimaev doesn’t even see him as champion.

“I’m already the champ. The guy just don’t want to fight me. [Usman] goes out, has surgery or something. He wants to go do boxing somewhere, and he can’t fix his arm. How he’s going to go to boxing, I don’t know,” Chimaev stated. “And the other guys talk like, ‘he didn’t fight like, somebody top 10.’ They always find some excuse. I’m ready, I’m already the champ. People know that.”

As for Gilbert Burns and his jiu-jitsu credentials, Chimaev was dismissive. “This is not jiu-jitsu, this is not wrestling, this is MMA. This is fighting. It’s not like, take the Gi and hold somebody. I’m going to smash his face everywhere.”

“Borz” was nothing short of amused when it was pointed out that champ Usman, a.k.a. “The Nigerian Nightmare,” had been helping Burns prepare for him. “He can bring all the world, it’s not helping him when he comes to the cage. He can bring all of Nigeria if he wants, no problem.”

Watch the full UFC 273 media day appearance by Khamzat Chimaev above. The event takes place this Saturday, April 9, 2022 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.