Gilbert Burns is getting the biggest fight of his career in the co-main event of UFC Brasilia this weekend when he takes on Demian Maia.
It was a fight Burns had wanted but he didn’t expect Maia to accept. When he found out the scrap was happening, he was ecstatic.
“I thought he was going to say no and I was ready to move on. But, when he said yes, it was amazing,” Burns said to BJPENN.com. “It was a lot of mixed feeling though as I like Demian a lot and he’s a legend and I’m excited to test myself against him.”
Entering this fight, Maia is riding a three-fight winning streak and still a top contender at welterweight. He’s also one of the best grapplers the welterweight division has ever seen, but Burns wants to change people’s perception of that.
Burns says he wants to grapple Maia and believes he can submit the 42-year-old.
“I want to grapple him and I have the skills to match his. I think even a decision win will put me in a good spot. But, a finish against Demian Maia will put me in a very good spot,” he explained. “As crazy as it sounds I plan to submit Maia, or like a ground and pound TKO. I see us grappling for the most part.”
Should Gilbert Burns gets a submission win over Maia, he would be the first person to do so, and just the second person to ever finish the Brazilian. He believes that would cement himself as a top-five welterweight.
“It would put me in a beautiful spot in the division because he is a legend. He’s a future Hall of Famer. A decision win will put me like six or seven but a finish would put me top-five,” he said. “But, a finish over Maia puts me on a different level. I believe I will be able to get that finish.”
In the end, should Gilbert Burns gets his hand raised at UFC Brasilia, he already has a name in mind to call out and it is Colby Covington for everything he has said about Brazil and his training partner, Kamaru Usman.
“I am still focused on Maia but I really want to put my hands on Colby Covington. He talks so much crap about Brazil and I think it will be a great callout after I beat Maia. I don’t like what Colby has been saying about Kamaru, Brazil, and my former manager Glenn Robinson,” Burns concluded. “I want to put my hands on him sooner or later. If I finish Maia he has to accept it. I have my right hand and my jiu-jitsu and I can finish Colby if we fought. But, I am focused on Maia.”
Do you think Gilbert Burns will be able to submit Demian Maia as he says?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/10/2020.