UFC Welterweight contender Gilbert Burns admitted that at some point he thought UFC might give his well-earned title shot to rising prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will finally make the much-awaited return to the cage against top contender Gilbert Burns at UFC 258 next month. UFC 258 is scheduled to take place on February 14 with the location being TBA. The news was first released by Brazilian outlet Combate and later confirmed by Brett Okamoto of ESPN. This fight was originally scheduled to take place at UFC 251 in Fight Island, Abu Dhabi. However, Gilbert Burns had to pull out of the fight almost a week before after testing positive for Covid-19.
Following which, BMF belt holder Jorge Masvidal had to step in on short notice to accept the fight. UFC 251 ended up selling 1.3 Million PPV buys making it one of the highest-selling PPV of the year. Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman were again scheduled to fight at UFC 256 on December 12, but the fight got dropped after Usman pulled out.
Kamaru Usman is coming off of a decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 and before that, he defeated Colby Covington via TKO at UFC 245 in December of 2019. On the other hand, Gilbert Burns is coming off of a decision win over former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Gilbert Burns on his title shot
The two are now set to fight at UFC 258 in February, but the fight took months to get signed. It was taking so long to get done that Burns was starting to worry the UFC might give his title shot to Chimaev instead.
Speaking to AG Fight, Burns said that now that the deal has been inked and ‘Countdown’ has been filmed, he can finally rest easy knowing the title shot is his.
“Thank God he closed this fight. They had already sent me that date, so it was a matter of the contract getting done, but now it is official. ‘Countdown’ has already come here to my home, so it’s guaranteed to happen. I was training a lot and afraid this fight would slip into the hands of Khamzat (Chimaev) or something would happen,” Burns said. “I think (this delay) was more of a UFC move, I don’t know, you’re seeing it as much with (Jorge) Masvidal or Colby (Covington). I don’t know if it was something like that either. Now it is time to continue training and we are going to win this title,” Burns said.
Burns (19-3) is currently riding a six-fight win streak, including a perfect 4-0 mark in the UFC welterweight division. The 34-year-old Brazilian has defeated Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, Gunnar Nelson, and Alexey Kunchenko during his move up the 170lbs ladder, earning his title shot along the way. UFC President Dana White said he is still very much interested to book a fight between welterweight fighters Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev after being scrapped several times.
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