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Gilbert Burns ready as backup for America-bound UFC London main event

Following a quick first round win over Demian Maia at UFC Brasilia, Burns is ready to step in and take on Tyron Woodley or Leon Edwards if needed.

It took Gilbert Burns just half a round to win the war of jiujitsu specialists against Demian Maia at UFC Brasilia, a feat Burns accomplished because he also happens to posses a decent amount of knockout power as well. Burns dropped Maia with a lightning left hook and then played the bongo on his face until the ref stepped in to stop things (watch the finish here). The win over #5 ranked welterweight Maia should rocket Burns, currently ranked #12, up into the top ten.

High enough to earn a fight with former welterweight interim champ Colby Covington? Perhaps. Burns called “Chaos” out after his win, promising to make Covington eat every negative word the controversial wrestler ever uttered about Brazil. But given Colby’s injuries, “Durinho” might have a to wait a while for that matchup to come to fruition.

But there is another option that could come together much sooner. Much, much sooner. Like ... next Saturday soon.

As you can see, Burns is reacting to the news that UFC London is no more after the British government canceled all sporting events due to the Coronavirus. Dana White is currently working overtime trying to save it, though. In an interview with ESPN late Saturday night, White declared “We’re working on finding a new venue, likely in the United States, and I have my matchmakers literally working right now to put on the undercard.”

With the United States set to initiate a travel ban on UK travelers starting Monday, there are questions as to whether Leon Edwards can make it to America in time ... not that the UFC isn’t trying.

If Edwards can’t make it, at least White now has a top ten welterweight ready to go as a backup. I have to admit, it’s kind of exhilarating watching the UFC fly by the seat of their pants attempting to keep these events going in the face of what may become the biggest global crisis in half a century.

With the level of chutzpah and adaptive action the promotion is showing, you almost wish they were in charge of the Coronavirus response rather than our plodding governments. Are we going to see enough COVID-19 tests being done in the next week? I have my doubts. Will there be UFC fights next Saturday? As crazy as it seems, probably yes.

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