Gilbert Burns knows who he wants to face when he returns to action.
Brazil’s “Durinho” has had a busy 2023, fighting three times in five months. Burns, 37, won back-to-back outings over veterans, Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal, before falling short to Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision on short notice at UFC 288 in May. During the fight, the one-time Welterweight title challenger suffered a shoulder injury, resulting in surgery that’s kept him sidelined since.
Meanwhile, moving and shaking has occurred at both Welterweight and Lightweight with one of the more notable fights involving 155-pound contenders, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier. Unfortunately for Poirier, he tasted defeat in his Gaethje rematch at UFC 291 via a second round head kick (watch highlights) last month (July 29, 2023). Now, “The Diamond” is contemplating a move up in weight, enticing Burns to try and make a match up between the two a reality.
“If you ask me which fight I wanted, it’s Dustin Poirier,” Burns told MMA Fighting. “He’s moving up and that would be a super cool fight, but everyone’s calling him out, everybody wants him, so I won’t talk too much about it. But it’s a cool fight because of his name because he’s moving up. It makes sense for him to fight against a top-five [Welterweight].
“There’s no point fighting someone ranked at 13 or 14,” he continued. “It does nothing for me now. I’m already waiting [to recover] anyway, so I’ll wait for a good fight.”
Poirier’s move to Welterweight isn’t a guarantee, but the Louisiana native has toyed with the idea in the past, booking a 170-pound encounter with Nate Diaz in 2018 before a rib injury forced him to withdraw. Like Poirier, Burns fought at Lightweight before making the move up in 2019 where he’s been better than ever.
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