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Gilbert Burns unwilling to take interim title fight against Leon Edwards; will wait for Kamaru Usman

Gilbert Burns of Brazil punches Tyron Woodley in their welterweight fight
Gilbert Burns of Brazil punches Tyron Woodley in their welterweight fight
Modified 06 Oct 2020, 11:44 IST

Gilbert Burns has hinted that he will wait for title-shot against Kamaru Usman, after ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani suggested a number one contender fight between the Brazilian and Leon Edwards. Burns was booked to fight Usman for the title at UFC 251 but had to withdraw from the fight after he contracted Covid-19. 

Jorge Masvidal then stepped up on short notice to fight the champion but was outclassed by Usman in the fight. Burns had beaten former champion Tyron Woodley back in May to earn his shot at the champion, after moving up from Lightweight.

The champion Kamaru Usman is unlikely to fight again this year, with UFC already having booked their pay-per-views till December. This urged Helwani to call for a potential fight between Edwards (the Number 3 ranked fighter in the Welterweight division) and Gilbert Burns

Just thought of something: If Usman x Burns isn’t happening this year … why not Leon Edwards vs. Burns in a No. 1 contender fight? Only fair, no? Surely, Burns doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines for 7+ months, right?

To which Burns replied:

I’m already the number contender, I’m waiting for a title shot. Why should I fight to be a number 1 contender again? You really think that or just hating on Ali again?

Gilbert Burns wants to wait for championship fight against Kamaru Usman 

 Leon Edwards (right) taking on Bryan Barbarena

Leon Edwards (right) taking on Bryan Barbarena


Gilbert Burns is on a four-fight win streak since moving up to the Welterweight division, beating Alexey Kunchenko, Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley en route to a title shot. Burns, a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, has sharpened his striking skills which he showcased in the impressive knockout of Maia and in the five-round shutout of Woodley. 

The Brazilian jumped over the likes of Masvidal, Edwards and Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thomson in his path to number one contender-ship, based on his high activity this past year.

On the other hand, UFC have struggled to find up a match-up for Edwards, who is on an eight-fight winning streak himself.

However, none of the top contenders - Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington or Gilbert Burns - are willing to fight the English martial artist. 

Published 06 Oct 2020, 11:44 IST
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