UFC 287 proved to be historic on a few different levels, not the least of which was Gilbert Burns’s convincing win over Jorge Masvidal in their welterweight contest. It essentially retired Gamebred, as he announced to the crowd on hand that he was ending his fighting career after four straight losses.
For Burns, it was another step in his climb to becoming a contender. He’s already won two fights in 2023, after defeating Neil Magny in the first round at UFC 283 in January. The 36-year-old is currently ranked the #5 welterweight in a division currently ruled by Leon Edwards (21-3).
However, Gilbert Burns (20-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) thinks that he should be the next one to step into The Octagon for a chance to grab the gold. And if he doesn’t? He’s willing to take drastic measures. He sent that message rather succinctly to the UFC and President Dana White on Saturday night.
“I think it’s almost a done deal Leon (Edwards) and Colby (Covington) in London if I’m not wrong,” Burns said during the UFC 287 post-fight press conference. “It’s almost a done deal, it’s just small details. I want to be a backup.”
“I’m not asking,” he declared. Then, he added his plans. “I’m demanding that I am going to because whenever they ask anytime the UFC calls asking for an opponent, I say yes.”
“Now I’m demanding that I’m going to do my training camp for five rounds, I go to London, and I’m next in line to fight for the title,” Gilbert Burns continued. “Otherwise, let me go, let me do my thing. These guys asking a million in other organizations you know. That’s it, I’m a backup for the next title fight, and I’m fighting for the title next.”
Colby Covington is the favorite to face Edwards next, but he also hasn’t fought since his own lopsided victory over Masvidal last year. Since then, the two have had some outside-the-Octagon animosity, as well. However, he remains one of the more skilled fighters in his weight class and a top threat to take the title.
While UFC president Dana White has stated that Covington is next for what will be Edwards’ second title defense, no date or location are in place currently. However, the bout is expected to take place sometime in the next few months. As far as Gilbert Burns wanting to face the winner? White seems to be more than fine with that arrangement.
“I love that,” White said. “Yeah, why not? You got a deal.”