Gilbert Burns


Discloses negative COVID-19 test
July 21, 2020
Burns disclosed via his personal Twitter account Monday that he is no longer positive for COVID-19.
The implication here is that Burns could soon be ready to fight, and his preference would presumably be a shot at champion Kamaru Usman. He was previously lined up to face Usman for the belt at UFC 251 on Fight Island, but the positive test forced him to withdraw, and Burns was subsequently replaced by Jorge Masvidal (Usman went on to win that fight in convincing fashion). Burns had previously received backing from UFC President Dana White that he would be next in line for a shot at the belt, but a loose acknowledgement is a lot different than ink on paper. It also appears Usman could be facing a medical suspension pending clearance of a nasal X-ray, so that may also play a role in dictating Burns' timeline for a title shot.
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Gets backing from White
July 10, 2020
UFC President Dana White stated Friday that Burns (illness) will be next in line for a title fight against the winner of the Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal championship bout at UFC 251 on Saturday night, Nolan King of MMA Junkie reports.
Burns (19-3-0) was originally set to take on Usman at UFC 251 before he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Burns was replaced by Masvidal who will get his title shot against Usman on just a six-day notice. Whoever ends up winning Saturday night will already have their next opponent, as White has come out publicly and said that Burns is the No. 1 contender for the next welterweight championship fight.
Won't fight July 11
July 3, 2020
Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and the UFC Welterweight Championship against Kamaru Usman will be rescheduled, reports.
Burns and Usman were set to be the headliner bout for UFC 251, but that will need to be put off until Burns can recover. Burns put together a dominating performance in his last bout May 30 against Tyron Woodley, while Usman is well-rested -- his last fight was in December.
Draws Usman for Fight Island
June 9, 2020
Burns will face Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 251 on July 11 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
The fight will headline the event, which is taking place on the much-anticipated Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Burns will be facing a rested Usman, who has not fought since December, while Burns is coming off a dominant performance over Tyron Woodley on May 30. Usman had a similar result against the former champion Woodley, as he dominated that fight both on the feet and on the mat. Burns will be giving up a few inches in height and five inches in reach to Usman, who will easily be the toughest test of his career to date as an undefeated UFC champion. Usman has superior marks in both offensive and defensive striking, plus averages a takedown more per fight and sports a 100 percent takedown defense. While Burns is deserving of this opportunity while riding a six-fight winning streak, look for him to enter as a hefty betting underdog.
Gets minimum suspension
June 1, 2020
Burns will face the minimum fight suspension after beating Tyron Woodley last Saturday, reports.
Burns is not to have contact until June 21st and will not be able to fight again until at least June 30th. Burns moved up to the No. 1 welterweight contender in the latest edition of the UFC rankings, but it's still unclear if champion Kamaru Usman is in his immediate future. The injuries appear to be relatively minor, and Burns was dominant the entire fight. Considering how active he's been in the last calendar year, it wouldn't be surprising to see him book another fight for later in the summer.
Schools Woodley, title shot next?
May 30, 2020
Burns defeated Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was a flawless performance from Burns against one of the division's all-time greats. Gilbert started out on fire. He dropped Woodley moments after the opening bell rang and cruised to what should have been scored 10-8 in Round 1. It didn't get any better for Woodley from there. Burns applied constant pressure, getting off first in all striking exchanges between the two men and dominating in tight. The total strike count was 132-55 in favor of Burns. He also took Woodley -- who entered with the highest takedown defense in welterweight history -- down twice. The Brazilian was known for a long time as just a mat specialist, but he is a legitimate all-around threat. Burns asked for a title shot against his buddy Kamaru Usman in his post-fight interview, and it's going to be difficult to deny his request. He's won six fights in a row, hasn't lost in nearly two years and is getting better and better each time out. This breakout is entirely legitimate. Adding to what was already an exceptional night at the office, Burns will take home an extra $50,000 in the form of a Performance of the Night bonus.