Gilbert Burns was unable to defeat reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman in the UFC 258 pay-per-view (PPV) main event earlier this month in Las Vegas and as a result, has slipped to No. 2 in the 170-pound rankings behind longtime contender Colby Covington.
With No. 3-ranked Leon Edwards already booked for next month’s UFC Vegas 21 card (see it here), Burns is setting his sights on Covington. That said, “Durinho” is also willing to put in work against Stephen Thompson (No. 5) or Michael Chiesa (No. 6) if “Chaos” pulls the Tyron Woodley card and demands a title shot.
“No. 1 on my list until that fight doesn’t happen is Colby Covington,” Burns told MMA Fighting. “He’s the No. 1 guy on my list. By the ranks, it’s got to be ‘Wonderboy’ No. 2 and Michael Chiesa. Those three guys I’m looking forward to fight. I don’t care the order. If they say ‘Gilbert, who do you want?’ It would be Colby, but if he’s not available, then ‘Wonderboy.’ If he’s not available, then Michael Chiesa. If he’s not available, then the next guy available.”
Thompson has been doing some campaigning of his own, calling for a crack at “The Nigerian Nightmare” at some point this summer. In addition, Chiesa has been vocal about his desire to face Covington, though we still need to see what the promotion plans to do with No. 4-ranked Jorge Masvidal.
“I want to fight everybody in that division,” Burns continued. “I will do four [wins] if I have to – I never had an easy path. I felt that pain before in jiu-jitsu. I’m a hard worker. I’m going to work hard to get that rematch with Kamaru Usman. Whatever it takes.”
Burns (19-4), who turns 35 in July, does not have time on his side.