- Saiman Das
UFC: After a fight of the year contender with Khamzat Chimaev, Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns feels he has earned the right to be picky with his opponents.
Historically, the former UFC title challenger has accepted all challenges regardless of their ranking, but that is changing. Burns (20-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) believes he’s due for a high-profile fight after his war against Borz.
Burns is looking for a big fight against top welterweight contenders like Colby Covington or Jorge Masvidal, even if it means waiting a while.
I think the fight that makes sense right now would be Colby Covington or Jorge Masvidal,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “Those are the two fights that I wanted, even with all the legal things. If I have to wait, I’ll wait. I don’t care. Those are the fights that make sense and I want them.
“I don’t want to get another back-of-the-line contender. No, now I’m becoming a draw in that division. Now I’m on the cards. I’ll still fight anyone, don’t get me wrong, but you have to prove your point, that you deserve to be there right now.
“I’m putting so much work and giving an opportunity to these guys, but now that’s changing a little bit and those are the two fights that I want. Colby Covington makes sense and Jorge Masvidal makes sense.”
Since his wild fight against Chimaev, “Durinho” has grown in popularity without a doubt. Burns believes he’s finally becoming a major player in the division in terms of popularity, despite being a top contender for several years.
I always wanted to be that guy and I put in a lot of work for that,” Burns said. “It finally (happened). I have to get on that wave right now and take advantage. The amount of following and love from the fans is getting crazy. The opportunities now and deals I’m getting are kinds of changing and that’s going to transfer to the fight.
“My next fight I’m coming with blood in my mouth. That fight with Khamzat was so close. A lot of people saw the heart, the work, and that there’s no quit in me. I’m going to keep showing that in my next fight. With a big name, I’m going to show people what I’m capable of. And to cement my career and journey, I have to get that belt. And nothing but a big fight can get me closer to that.”
“Durinho” is trying to stay active and fight top competition, and he’s been requesting a fight with Masvidal on the internet.
It didn’t take long for Masvidal to respond, and the veteran seems open to the matchup. “Sounds good to me,” he replied “Let’s see.”
Gilbert and Masvidal seem to be a perfect match-up as UFC is trying to put Khamzat & Covington together.
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