Gilbert Burns believes he has a host of important advantages heading into his yet unscheduled title fight with UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Burns delved into the nuances of the matchup in a recent interview with Helen Yee. The BJJ blackbelt said he expects to have an advantage in the jiu jitsu and grappling departments, and challenged the welterweight division’s top wrestlers to test him on the mat.
“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.”
Burns, who has spent the majority of his career competing in the lightweight division, believes he’s also a problem on the feet for his welterweight rivals—Usman included.
“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.”
When Burns finally steps into the cage with Usman, he believes he’ll finish the champion to claim the welterweight title for himself.
“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.”
Do you think Gilbert Burns has what it takes to dethrone Kamaru Usman?