Top UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns intends to capture the division’s title from champ Kamaru Usman later this year, then defend it against Colby Covington in his next fight thereafter.
Burns, who is in Las Vegas to corner his brother Herbert for a UFC 252 fight with Daniel Pineda, laid out his plans in an interview with The Schmo.
“He’s on my list,” Burns said of Covington (h/t Bloody Elbow). “I’ve got a list of guys that I want to fight, and he’s the No. 1.
“It’s personal,” Burns added. “He’s the No. 1 guy that I want to beat up. That’s my plan. As soon as I become champion—I’m not being cocky, I just believe that I will become champion—Colby Covington is right there to get his ass whooped.”
While Burns would love to have the opportunity to punish Covington in the cage, he’s actually rooting against Covington in his widely rumored fight against former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
“I hope Tyron Woodley gets his cardio good, gets his mental [game] together,” Burns said. “He needs to be strong mentally going into that fight.
“I hope Tyron Woodley wins,” he added. “I’m never going to [root for] Colby Covington. I’m always going to be against Colby Covington.”
Gilbert Burns was originally expected to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 251 in early July in Abu Dhabi, but was forced out of the bout when he tested positive for COVID-19. He was then replaced by Jorge Masvidal, who Usman defeated by decision.
Burns is now expected to be rescheduled for a fight with Usman sometime later this year, and told The Schmo that December is his ideal timeframe for the fight.
If he defeats Usman to capture the belt, and Covington gets by Woodley, a welterweight title fight between the two lightweight contenders seems very likely.