UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns admitted that he thought the UFC might have given Khamzat Chimaev his title shot.
Burns was originally set to fight Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title back at UFC 251 on the first Fight Island card, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight fell apart. The two were then set to fight at UFC 256, but Usman needed more time to heal from injuries. The two are now set to fight at UFC 258 in February, but the fight took months to get signed. It was taking so long to get done that Burns was starting to worry the UFC might give his title shot to Chimaev instead.
Speaking to AG Fight, Burns said that now that the deal has been inked and ‘Countdown’ has been filmed, he can finally rest easy knowing the title shot is his.
“Thank God he closed this fight. They had already sent me that date, so it was a matter of the contract getting done, but now it is official. ‘Countdown’ has already come here to my home, so it’s guaranteed to happen. I was training a lot and afraid this fight would slip into the hands of Khamzat (Chimaev) or something would happen,” Burns said. “I think (this delay) was more of a UFC move, I don’t know, you’re seeing it as much with (Jorge) Masvidal or Colby (Covington). I don’t know if it was something like that either. Now it is time to continue training and we are going to win this title,” Burns said.
Burns (19-3) is currently riding a six-fight win streak, including a perfect 4-0 mark in the UFC welterweight division. The 34-year-old Brazilian has defeated Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, Gunnar Nelson, and Alexey Kunchenko during his move up the 170lbs ladder, earning his title shot along the way. But given the hype behind Chimaev, you can understand why Burns had some worry Chimaev might steal his title shot. In the end, Burns gets Usman and Chimaev takes on Leon Edwards.
Do you think the UFC will give Khamzat Chimaev the winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns?