Brian Stann talks about the viral video predicting KhamzatChimaev’s rise and advises him not to fight for title: “Nobody is walking through Kamaru Usman.”


At UFC 273, Khamzat Chimaev scored the biggest victory of his career, winning a unanimous decision over Gilbert Burns. And Brian Stann told everyone it was coming.

Stann, who served as a UFC analyst and color commentator until 2017, popped back into the MMA consciousness in the lead up to UFC 273, when a video was unearthed of Stann predicting the rise of Khamzat Chimaev, three full years before Chimaev made his UFC debut.

Chimaev, of course, has gone on to do exactly what Stann predicted, winning MMA Fighting’s 2020 Breakout Fighter of the Year award and defeating Burns, the No. 4-ranked welterweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, in a Fight of the Year contender. In the aftermath of Chimaev’s win over Burns, Stann spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, and explained how he knew Chimaev was going to be a force so far in advance.

“It’s one of those situations, you make a lot of predictions when you’re an analyst. You talk to a lot people and every once in a while you get one right and the internet doesn’t forget,” Stann said. “So it’s nice to have gotten one right instead of having people text me about one’s I got wrong. But it’s funny, I hadn’t thought back to that in a while, but I remember those moments where I was talking to some folks before an Alexander Gustafsson fight, from that gym, while they were at the hotel and doing the week of the fight workouts. Some of these guys would get me on the mats and tell me all about the guy from Chechnya. He was amazing, had all the skills, was mentally sharp, could jump as high as he did Saturday night, etc. Where you’re 10-0 and you’re facing the No. 2 ranked guy in your division. He made .”

with a great jump.

Burns represented a significant step in Chimaev’s competition, but the Swedish fighter was up to the challenge, winning a tough-fought fight that saw Borz have to overcome adversity following his defeat in round 2. Stann is eager to see what Chimaev has in store for him, considering his professional career.

” “It was so incredible — I don’t recall such a leap that anyone’s ever taken. And wanted,” Stann stated. “It’s one thing to take those fights and those opportunities on short notice, the UFC needs you to fill in and you kind of go and end up being the sacrificial lamb to the stud, but to deliberately want to take on the No. 2 guy in the world, when you’ve only had 10 fights to your name, and someone as dangerous as Gilbert Burns who has legitimate knockout power and can submit you from anywhere, it was just incredible. So I’m excited to see what he can do with 15 fights under his belt.”

Next up for Chimaev appears to be a fight with one-time interim champion Colby Covington, who recently beat Jorge Masvidal in a grudge match at UFC 272 and remains the top contender in the welterweight division. While some people want Chimaev fighting for the title, Stann thinks that Chimaev is better off taking his time and facing Kamaru Usman.

” You don’t want him to be too rushed if I manage him. The reward is Kamaru Uman. If he gets real comfortable, making lots of money, wearing all the top brands, not training as hard and getting a lot done, then KamaruUsman might be one of the most gifted fighters on the planet.

“[Chimaev]’ is ready and will fight [but]. Do you think it’s the right time? It’s his greatest chance to defeat a man like Kamaru Uman? Usman is an animal. He’s so talented and still improving. He’s not going to stop fighting if you manage him. That’s the only way to go. I try to give him as much time and experience as possible. He was happy with the outcome of that fight and that it took as much time against Gilbert. Colby Covington is a good choice for his next fight. It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a tough fight but he seems ready. He’s gonna be competitive. He can win that fight. I don’t know that he’s ready and can smash Kamaru. I don’t believe he can smash Kamaru like he might say. It’s not possible for him to believe that, but Kamaru Usman isn’t going to be walking in the octagon.