Why did Khamzat Chimaev say he was “more Brazilian” than Gilbert Burns?

During the buildup for the much anticipated welterweight clash between Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns, one moment caught the attention of many fans.

While responding to a question about his opponent, Khamzat stated that he was “more Brazilian” than Gilbert Burns.

Chimaev, born in Chechenya, taunted Burns. For those unaware, Gilbert Burns is a proud Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro.

“Everybody is talking about me, but nobody wants to fight with me because we kill everybody,” Chimaev said. “For me, it doesn’t matter.”

“Gilbert Burns talked about Brazil, I’m more Brazilian than him because my coach is Brazilian.”

“I’m a blue belt under Alan ‘Finfou’ (Nascimento). I know many times my coach smashed (Burns), too, on the mats. We are going to choke him out. A ‘Finfou’ blue belt against a black belt.

Who is Khamzat’s coach?

Alan Finfou is a multiple-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu champion. He was born in Rio de Janeiro and grew up in the favela “Cantagalo”.

The Cantagalo favela is one of the most unique places in Brazil. The favela, which faces extreme poverty, is located right in between two of Rio’s highest-income districts, Copacabana and Ipanema.

The poor conditions of his upbringing left a mark on Alan “Finfou” Nascimento. The crime and violence surrounding the Brazilian Favelas claimed the lives of two of Nascimento’s brothers as he was growing up.

After an illustrious career competing for the BJJ team Checkmat, Finfou moved to Sweden where he became Chimaev’s grappling coach.

Khamzat likely made the comment due to the fact that while Burns did grow up in a poor district in the city of Niterói, in Rio de Janeiro, but he did not come from a ‘favela” like his BJJ coach.

Burns, who is a BJJ world champion himself, did not pay much attention to the provocations. Burns was a very successful grappler before he joined the UFC way back in 2014. In spite of a long tenure in the UFC, Burns has only 5 losses in his career.

Burns brawled Chimaev and nearly knocked him out in the second round. In the end, an unanimous decision victory was awarded to Chimaev, but in reality, the bout could have gone either way.

Alan Finfou promoted Chimaev to a jiujitsu purple belt after UFC 273.