Two of the best welterweights in the world will go against each other at UFC 264 when Gilbert Burns takes on Stephen Thompson.
Burns (19-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) and Thompson (16-4-1 MMA, 11-4-1 UFC) have verbally agreed to fight, according to UFC president, Dana White who told broadcast partner ESPN on Friday. UFC 264 takes place on July 10 and airs on pay-per-view following prelims likely to air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+. No official date or venue has been announced, but White recently said the promotion is targeting T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Contracts have not been signed, according to sources, but both sides have verbally agreed to the 170-pound matchup.
Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson fighting for the top spot
Two of the nicest (and baddest) dudes in the sport have agreed to throw down at UFC 264 on July 10. Gilbert Burns (@GilbertDurinho) vs. Stephen Thompson (@WonderboyMMA) has been verbally agreed to, per Dana White (@danawhite). pic.twitter.com/Lv5uEsxqRb
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 3, 2021
Burns (19-4) is coming off a failed title bid against defending champion and former teammate Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February. Burns earned a title shot with a four-fight win streak between 2019 and 2010, including dominant performances against Demian Maia and former champion Tyron Woodley.
Fighting out of Sanford MMA in Florida, Burns wobbled Usman early in that title fight with punches, before succumbing to punches himself in the third round.
Thompson (16-4-1) is coming off a convincing five-round decision over a top prospect in Geoff Neal on Dec. 19. A former two-time title challenger, Thompson is riding back-to-back wins over two of the most dangerous men in the division in Neal and Vicente Luque (20-7-1).
Fighting out of South Carolina, Thompson challenged then-champion Tyron Woodley for the UFC title twice in 2016 and 2017 but came up short both times. He is 2-2 since his second fight against Woodley.
UFC 264 will be headlined by a five-round non-title lightweight fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. Dustin Poirier has signed his contract for a showdown with Conor McGregor at the upcoming UFC event scheduled on July 10.
UFC President Dana White had previously stated that he hoped to book Poirier vs. McGregor 3 for this summer as the promotion starts holding events in crowd-filled arenas again. While the ultimate goal would be to hold this event in Las Vegas, there’s still no word if Nevada will be allowing large indoor gatherings by July, which means Poirier vs. McGregor 3 could take place elsewhere.
McGregor seeks to avenge a second-round knockout loss to Poirier at UFC 257 in January. That fight evened up the series at one apiece after McGregor dispatched Poirier by first-round TKO in 2014 when both fighters competed at featherweight.
As for Poirier, he’ll look for another marquee win – and massive payday – against McGregor. He reportedly chose the trilogy over a fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title in May; Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler will fight for the belt at UFC 262.
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