Gilbert Burns is looking to rebound from his welterweight title loss, with a big win over Stephen Thompson at UFC 264. However he is going into this contest knowing that the only way he will get another crack at the gold, is if he puts on a masterclass of a performance.
Burns lost to Kamaru Usman by way of knockout, at UFC 258 in February, after almost finishing the champ in round one. He has hardly taken any time off since then, and is looking to get back to action against fellow top contender “Wonderboy.”
Speaking in a recent interview, ahead of this clash at UFC 264, the Brazilian explained that he feels like Thompson will get a title shot with a win over him. On the other hand, he knows that he would need a flawless performance if he wishes to get back to Usman.
“If I lose, (it is a title eliminator fight), if I win I don’t think so. I think I need to just go out there and put on a clinic. That’s what I’m looking for, but ‘Wonderboy’ is a very dangerous opponent. It depends. It all depends on the performance. I do believe nowadays everything is about how you perform,” Burns said.
I think Leon Edwards lost the shot just because he didn’t get a finish (against Nate Diaz). (He’s not) very hungry. I’m not even criticizing the guy, I think he’s a good, very smart fighter, but he’s not a finisher.
“If you go out there and, as they say, bite the mouth piece, go forward, and finish the fight, sometimes you’re going to get the shot. But if you’re a point fighter, winning the fight, yeah that’s good for you… but at the end of the day, the real fans… they want to see violence, they want to see a finish. They go crazy when someone does a crazy knockout,” Burns continued.
“With that being said, if me or ‘Wonderboy’ get a big finish, it could put us close to a title shot.”
Gilbert Burns Predicts The Fight
While it is clear that Gilbert Burns is looking to go out there and put on a show, he also does not want to leave it in the hands of the judges. He is hopeful to get his hands on Stephen Thompson, and earn a finish at UFC 264.
On the flip side, he is aware that finishing “Wonderboy” is still not enough to guarantee a rematch with Kamaru Usman. So if that ends up not being the case, he says he would be open to a number one contender fight against Leon Edwards, if the timing works out.
“(I want to get) a finish. I think he’s a very good fighter. I saw most, I think maybe all of his fight. He’s very good at controlling the distance, a very good Karate fighter, good shots, good blitzes, good kicks, great takedown defense,” Burns said.
“But I do believe a finish against him, or a dominant performance would put me right in the number one spot again. Right now I’m number two right now, but Colby didn’t do anything to be number one. I was number one, I lost and became number two. He didn’t win.
“I just believe a dominant performance or finish will put me in number one contender. I would need a fight with Leon (Edwards) or one more to get a title shot again.”
How do you see Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson playing out at UFC 264? Does the winner get a crack at UFC gold in their next outing?