Gilbert Burns is just days away from a highly anticipated fight with Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273, but that has not stopped either fighter from looking ahead to a possible showdown with #1 ranked contender Colby Covington.
Burns (20-4-0) hopes to secure another opportunity at UFC gold with a win over ‘Borz’ on Saturday, but is more than willing to face perpetual contender Colby Covington. However, ‘Darinho’ is not convinced that ‘Chaos’ will accept the challenge.
After defeating Jorge Masvidal at UFC 272 on March 5, Covington immediately called out fan-favorite Dustin Poirier who primarily competes in the UFC’s lightweight division. Burns believes this is just another example of Covington cherry-picking fights and avoiding divisional contenders like himself.
“He’s One of the First on My List to Fight”
“Covington dropped the ball by asking for Poirier instead of a [welterweight] contender,” Burns said on the Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca. “He doesn’t accept fights. That’s the hard part. I’ve been trying to get a fight with Colby for years and can’t.
“Colby is very smart,” said Burns. “If you look at his fights, he doesn’t fight anyone who’s coming off a win. ‘Oh, if it wasn’t for Usman, he’d be champion.’ Really? Fighting against nobodies, no contenders? He’s someone I’d like to fight. [Do] I think this fight is really going to happen? I don’t know, he doesn’t accept it and negotiates well, goes out there and talks a bunch of crazy stuff and a lot of people like his crazy talk. What can I do?
“I don’t think he’s this monster, the king of cardio, but he fights people at the end of their careers, Masvidal, and does well. But he’s on my list. He’s one of the first on my list to fight.”
Covington won the grudge match against his former friend turned rival Jorge Masvidal in March. During the bout, Covington dominated throughout the 25 minute affair with his wrestling, earning a unanimous decision victory over ‘Gamebred.’ While admittedly unimpressed with Covington’s resume, Burns believes that Masvidal’s defeat was less about Covington’s skills and more about Masvidal’s lack of preparation.
“He Crosses the Line A Lot”
“I wanted Masvidal to win, but when he got in there, you could see he wasn’t shredded, he wasn’t in shape, you could see some spare tire,” Burns said. “I was like, ‘Damn, this guy didn’t train that hard.’ And it went down as I expected — Colby taking him down, a boring fight. Colby is good with the takedowns, has good volume, but I don’t think he’s exceptional with his striking, doesn’t have heavy hands or kicks that hurt.
“He has this annoying volume of taking you down and staying on top, but doesn’t have effective jiu-jitsu, won’t take you down and finish you, won’t ground and pound you like Khabib [Nurmagomedov], who rips you apart. This is a fight I want in the future. It was a good performance but not something we didn’t expect. It wasn’t like, ‘Wow, he killed the guy.’ He won, but no big deal.”
As is the case with most of Covington’s detractors, Burns is not a fan of the trash talking that ‘Chaos’ employs when lobbying for or promoting fights.
“You can talk trash, of course,” Burns said. “It’s free speech, you can say whatever you want, but I don’t agree with the disrespect. Talking about moms, talking sh*t about Brazil, talking sh*t about Dustin, talking about Dustin’s wife, about Masvidal’s ex-wife. I think he crosses the line a lot.
“[Colby] has lost all my respect, and then two Brazilians come, people I respect, Cesar [Carneiro] and [Daniel] Valverde, and say, ‘Oh, he’s super nice in the gym.’ F*ck, if he wasn’t, brother … talking sh*t to everybody, they have to at least be nice in the gym, right?”
Before moving onto a possible fight with Covington, Burns will first have to derail the hype train named Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273 on April 9.
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