With former Bellator champion Michael Chandler’s UFC debut imminent, fans are curious to see how he does. Top welterweight contender Gilbert Burns seems to think we could be looking at a future UFC champion.
Burns is preparing for his own shot at UFC gold, as he is expected to take on Kamaru Usman at UFC 258. The BJJ standout used to compete at lightweight, but has gone 4-0 since making the jump to 170lb.
Now the Brazilian is looking to do the unthinkable and dethrone the champ. This bout was expected to take place last year, but it had to be rebooked after positive COVID-19 tests.
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Gilbert Burns Is Ready For War
The interesting thing about this matchup between Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman, is that they used to be training partners, before Usman changed gyms, but Gilbert believes that he is a completely different guy from when they last trained together.
Speaking in a recent interview, Gilbert explained what areas he has been working on, in order to prepare for this fight. He also made it clear that he was ready for an all-out war when they share the cage together.
“As soon as I moved up to 170, I was able to perform a lot better. I wasn’t killing myself anymore with the weight cut,” Burns explained.
“I’ve been improving a lot with my wresting and my grappling. I’ve put a lot of attention on my grappling, and my wrestling too but overall I’m getting better everywhere.
“I’m feeling better, I’m training better, I’m feeling stronger. It’s hard to pick only one thing I’m getting better. I’m getting better everywhere, especially mentally.
“I’m mentally ready for a war with Kamaru, and I just believe I have so many weapons that I’m going to keep sharpening until February 13th, and I believe I will be the first one to beat Kamaru in the UFC, and finish Kamaru in the UFC.”
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Michael Chandler Will Be UFC Champ
One of the training partners of Gilbert Burns is making his highly anticipated UFC debut, as former Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler is set to face Dan Hooker at UFC 257.
Despite the fact that Hooker is the last man to beat Gilbert, he feels that Mike has what it takes to get the win. Not only that, but he went as far as to say that Chandler will be a UFC champion by the end of the year.
“I’m going to put all money on Michael Chandler. I believe it will be a tough one,” Burns said.
“People are going to get surprised by Michael Chandler. He’s different. He’s very good in wrestling, very explosive, mixes things up good, has quick hands. I just believe he’s going to be a champion in the UFC.”
“If Khabib is not back, then the conversation will be Conor (McGregor), Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Dan Hooker, and Charles Oliver,” Burns added.
“That’s the title conversation in my eyes, and I believe Michael Chandler has the power to become champion.”
Now it makes sense that Gilbert Burns would think highly of his teammate. That being said, the lightweight division is one of the toughest in the sport, so it will be interesting to see if Michael Chandler can live up to the hype.