Exclusive: Gilbert Burns Says He’s Still ‘Super Close’ To Title Fight: ‘Gotta Get A Big Win Against A Big Opponent’

'Durinho' discusses potential opponents for his return.

Gilbert Burns
(via @gilbert_burns - Instagram)

Gilbert Burns‘ title dreams are far from over.

The #5 UFC Welterweight contender started out the year strong with two straight wins over Neil Magny and Jorge Masvidal. Trying to add on to his case for a title shot, Burns took a high risk, high reward fight with Belal Muhammad at UFC 288. 

Unfortunately, the short-notice opportunity didn’t pay off for Burns who was beat by unanimous decision and had his win-streak snapped. 

Burns On Losing To Muhammad: ‘I Still Want That One Back’

Despite a disappointing result, Muhammad has no regrets from facing the surging Muhammad. But, the Brazilian makes it clear that he’d love to run that fight back sometime down the line. 

“It end up with the loss, and then if it was a win, I’d be fighting for the title. [2023] was a good year, wasn’t as as good as I want, but it was a good year, two wins and I lost,” Burns told Middle Easy.

“I still want that one back. I still believe I can beat Belal Muhammad. It happened, it’s not even my fault. Not even his fault. We both took a fight on short-notice. I was very close to getting another title shot, but like I said, I risked everything. I don’t regret because if I win I’ll get a title shot. So just because I lost it doesn’t mean, it was the wrong move. I’m gonna try to calculate a little bit my next fight.”

‘I Still Wanna Risk Again’

While stepping in against Muhammad didn’t play out in his favor, Burns is happy to roll the dice once more if we’re talking about titles.

“I still wanna risk again,” Burns added. “I don’t care. I love to fight and I know I’m super close to get the next title shot, I just gotta get a big win against a big opponent. I think they will make it.”

Next Fight

As for who the former UFC title challenger will face next, that remains to be a question. However, Burns isn’t gung-ho about fighting recently-victorious teammate Vicente Luque. Everybody else? Free game.

“I’ll not fight Vicente, just if you have no option, if it’s like for title… If he gets to a point like even though still gonna be very hard, but Vicente is the only guy that would I say that I don’t fight,” Luque revealed. “But all the other guys, Kamaru [Usman] I fought, I’ll fight again. Shavkat [Rakhmonov] will fight. Ian Garry, I’ll fight you. Just gotta make sense. It cannot be for no reason. Gotta be all for number one spot or for title shot or for the title.

“I think I have a lot of guys that I train with, especially at Kill Cliff FC. We got Shavkat in the top 10. We got Luque in the top 10, Kamaru in the top 10. For a good reason we’ll fight each other, just Luque I won’t fight— but the other guys I’ll fight for sure.”

Timeframe For Return

Burns lays out when he’ll be coming back to the UFC Octagon.

“I would love to get one more fight this year, but I haven’t been to training since May,” Burns continued.  “Now I’m back in training, so in any fight that I’m doing is gonna be a big fight, so I gotta be in like best shape in my life. So yeah, I would love to fight this year, but it looks like for me next year.”

Watch our full interview with Gilbert Burns below:

Published on September 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm
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