Shavkat Rakhmonov: Chimaev given victory over Burns due to popularity

Top-15 UFC welterweight contender Shavkat Rakhmonov believes popularity had something to do with Chimaev vs Burns decision.

How Judges are scoring MMA bouts is often a controversial topic in combat sports. Many UFC fans aren’t sure how judging works – especially in close fights.

Shavkat Rakhmonov believes the judges that scored  Khamzat Chimaev vs Gilbert Burns at UFC 273 in April may have been biased. Chimaev took on two-time title challenger Burns and came out victorious via unanimous decision. ‘Borz’ is a hyped prospect and a lot of fans expected him to take on the reigning champion Kamaru Usman.

During a recent talk with Combat Sports, Rakhmanov suggested that the fight should have ended as a draw. ‘Nomad’ said Chimaev’s popularity impacted the end result.

“I think it was a very equal fight, in my opinion. But Khamzat, I believe, got the win because he’s more popular. Maybe that’s why he was awarded the win.” Rakhmonov said.

The 27-year-old Uzbek fighter went on to share more of his thoughts on the fight.

“But [in the first] round, I don’t know who won, could be Khamzat, could be Burns. Then it was pretty much an even fight. The third round, Khamzat was more of an aggressor. I think that is why Burns didn’t get the win, because he played too defensively. But you never know, sometimes I don’t understand UFC judges and how they get to their decisions.” Rakhmonov said.

Given how fierce the fight between Chimaev and Burns was, it wouldn’t have been inconceivable if Burns had won. In fact many fans watching at home felt he had the competitive edge.

Shavkat Rakhmonov entered the UFC in 2020 and has gone 3-0 since then. He won all his fights via finishes. His last bout, against Carlston Harris last February, ended with an impressive spinning kick. He is now slated to take on number 10 Neil Magny on June 26.