Gilbert Burns blasts Ariel Helwani for suggesting he fight to be a No. 1 contender again

By Harry Kettle - October 6, 2020

UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns has taken a shot at Ariel Helwani for suggesting he needs to fight to keep his number one contender spot.

Gilbert Burns

It was reported last night that the proposed Welterweight Championship bout at UFC 256 between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns will no longer be taking place on that date. Following the news, ESPN reporter Ariel Helwani suggested that perhaps Burns would be open to fighting Leon Edwards with the winner being dubbed the new number one contender.

As you can probably imagine, Burns wasn’t a big fan of the idea.

“I’m already the number contender, I’m waiting for a title shot. Why should I fight to be a number 1 contender again? You really think that or just hating on Ali again?”.

Prior to the title fight being called off, Burns noted some of the advantages he believes he has over Usman.

“I see a lot of advantages,” Burns said. “For sure my jiu jitsu. Any wrestlers in this division, Colby Covington, try taking me down. Just try it. I’ll be more than happy to not make it easy for guys to take me down. I might defend the shot or even take you guys down. As soon as I get on top, or even on bottom, I’m able to submit or even sweep or do whatever with any one of these guys in the division.”

“Not only for the champion, but for anyone, I’m a threat on my feet too,” Burns said. “I can kick, I can punch. I hit way harder than these guys. I have all the explosiveness. I’m fresh in the division. I don’t know how I didn’t make that change [from lightweight to welterweight] before, but right now I feel so good for that division.”

“I see a finish,” he told Yee. “I don’t know how. I know I can submit him. I know I can knock him out. I’m just going to work super hard to make sure I’m in the best shape of my life. We’re already planning.”

“I have so much energy right now that I see finish,” he added. “I’m going to be looking for the finish every single minute, every single second of that fight. That’s what I’m looking for.”

With Kamaru Usman unavailable, what do you think should be next for Gilbert Burns?