Chimaev landed the first huge strike of the fight when a right hand visibly hurt Burns in Round 1. But the native of Brazil rallied nicely by mixing calf strikes with powerful counter right hands.

Chimaev appeared to secure the opening frame, however, when he followed up a front kick with a stiff jab to drop Burns who began bleeding soon after from a punch to the top of the head.

Burns continued to hold his ground in Round 2 and went on to briefly drop Chimaev with a short left hook as the drama in the fight intensified.

The final round saw Chimaev on the verge of stopping Burns after hurting him with a flurry to the body. With both fighters exhausted, Burns landed a pair of rights late.

I am happy. This stage is what I have been waiting for a long time," Chimaev said. "I wanted to be 11-0 with 11 finishes. But I love this stage."