Former welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns lost a close decision to division sensation Khamzat Chimaev in their “Fight of the Night” battle at UFC 273 last weekend in Jacksonville, a three-round slug-o-rama that helped springboard “Borz” to the No. 3 spot at 170 pounds — while dropping “Durinho” to No. 5.
Burns was the only welterweight (aside from this guy) willing to step up and challenge the undefeated Chimaev, who improved to 11-0 with 10 finishes. That's why the Brazilian bruiser believes the promotion owes him a rematch — within the next three fights — in a potential five-round main event.
“I believe we’re not done,” Burns told TSN.ca. “When they offered me this fight, I asked for five rounds. I just think if it was five rounds it would be way more entertaining. I think we’re not done. For sure he moved forward in rank and they wanna make the Colby fight. I just want one thing back from Khamzat. I want the courtesy. I was No. 2 and I fought No. 11. I want a rematch with Khamzat. If he beats Colby, he’s going to fight Kamaru. I just want my rematch in the next three fights. I believe we’re not done.”
Chimaev is expected to be paired off with No. 1-ranked welterweight contender Colby Covington for an ABC headliner later this year. A victory over “Chaos” would undoubtedly send “Borz” into a 170-pound title fight against the winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Leon Edwards, who run it back for “The Nigerian Nightmare’s” strap this summer.
Burns (20-5) would need to keep pace and also win his next two fights to secure a potential rematch, or hope Chimaev loses at some point along the way. At the same time, we have to consider some of the other contenders gunning for the top of the division, like the winner of this critical 170-pound battle, along with top prospects like Sean Brady and Shavkat Rakhmonov.
Expect a busy year for the welterweight division, from top to bottom.