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Former UFC welterweight title contender Gilbert Burns is keen to return to the Octagon, and has been offered several opposing options for his return.
Both Burns and his team appeared to be watching the Covington fight, and Burns posted a post shortly after becoming the number one contender in the rankings.
I don’t want slap this guy for free, even though he deserves! But if he keep saying no to fight me, I might have to 🤷🏾♂️— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) March 18, 2021
Eu não quero bater nesse cara na rua e de graça, msm ele merecendo. Mas se ele continuar negando lutar comigo, acho q vou ter q fazer isso 🤷🏾♂️ @ColbyCovMMA pic.twitter.com/PT7UGEzUiZ
“I don’t want slap this guy for free, even though he deserves! But if he keep saying no to fight me, I might have to”
According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Burns’s manager Ali Abdelaziz requested this fight for his client, however it wasn’t the only name the team asked for Michael Chiesa as well. It is currently unclear if Chiesa is one of the fighters who agreed to fight Burns in June when he was approached.
Gilbert Burns eager to book a fight. Per his manager @AliAbdelaziz00, he’s asked for Colby Covington, but also mentioned to UFC Michael Chiesa. Abdelaziz says he’s talked with Kamaru and as long as he’s champ, Colby won’t get a rematch unless he faces another contender first.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 18, 2021
Additionally, Abdelaziz, who also runs welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, shared that he spoke to the champion and while he holds the belt, Covington will need to defeat another opponent before being presented with a rematch.
Covington and Usman met at UFC 245 in December 2019, in this extremely close match, Usman was able to finish with Covington in the fifth round to defend his title. Since then, Covington has only entered the Octagon once to face former champion Tyron Woodley in September 2020.
Gilbert Burns is backtracking his failed title attempt against his teammate and friend Usman and is currently ranked second just behind Covington.
Burns’ enigmatic foe is kept under wraps right now, however there are three free fighters in the top six that are currently unbooked, Leon Edwards, Stephen Thompson and Michael Chiesa, so it could probably be one of those fighters.