Gilbert Burns says he has volunteered to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 251, which is expected to go down on July 11.
Burns divulged this information in an interview with MMA Fighting.
“We’re waiting for the UFC’s decision,” Burns said. “I volunteered to fight for the UFC title in July if they want. I know UFC 251 is on July 11, and I volunteered for it. If they want it, I’ll fight for the belt on the 11th, or I can fight the No. 2 or No. 3 [fighter] in the rankings, whoever the UFC wants.
“I’ve already volunteered, and I will honor that. When I volunteer for a date, I make sure I’m ready for it in case something happens. I’ll get back to the gym on Monday.”
This statement from Burns is in keeping with a recent remark from UFC President Dana White. The UFC boss stated it’s “highly likely” Burns will leapfrog other contenders like Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards to get the next crack at Usman, simply on the basis of his willingness to step up.
“Burns told me that night, ‘let’s turn this shit right round, I’ll fight Usman now. I’m ready.’ I love that kind of shit,” White said on Steve-O’s podcast. “When you’re that guy, it’s highly likely you’re getting that f**king fight.”
After a lengthy stint in the UFC lightweight division, Burns has gone 4-0 at welterweight, first defeating Alexey Kunchenko and Gunnar Nelson by decision, then knocking out former title challenger Demian Maia, and most recently, battering the former champion Tyron Woodley to a lopsided decision triumph.
Kamaru Usman, meanwhile, is riding high after a knockout win over Colby Covington in a 2019 Fight of the Year contender.
Do you want to see Gilbert Burns get the next crack at Kamaru Usman? How do you think the fight would go?