Unlike Jorge Masvidal, who peddled the “full camp” excuse when selling the promotion his Kamaru Usman do-over, top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns wants to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he deserves a “Nigerian Nightmare” rematch.
And he’s willing to squash Masvidal to get it.
If that doesn’t seal the deal, then “Durinho” will also put away fellow 170-pound title hopeful Leon Edwards. In fact, the Brazilian is planning to clean out the entire division, with or without the belt, just to prove he’s the best welterweight in the world.
“I want the one that will get me a clear way to the title. If that’s Leon Edwards, that’s the one that I want. If I need two more fights, give me Masvidal now and give me Leon Edwards later,” Burns told TMZ Sports (transcribed by Adam Martin). “I want to fight everyone in that division. Every top opponent I want to face. I still have a dream match with Colby. I still want a rematch with Kamaru. I want to beat Masvidal, I want to beat Nate Diaz, I want to beat Leon Edwards, I want to beat every single guy, especially a tough one in that division. It’s no pressure, it’s just that if you want to fight for the title, you have to beat this guy, that’s the next guy. And I do believe it will be between Leon and Masvidal for my next fight.”
Burns, 35, was stopped by Usman in the UFC 258 main event back in February, but quickly rebounded with a unanimous decision victory over longtime contender Stephen Thompson at UFC 264 just a few weeks back, pushing his pro record to 20-4 with 14 finishes.
As for Usman, he’s expected to rematch 170-pound villain Colby Covington at some point later this year, and rumors have Masvidal and Edwards going to war in what should be the final pit stop for “Rocky” en route to a welterweight title shot.
If that’s the case, Burns may need to find alternate plans for the remainder of 2021.