Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson have verbally agreed to face off in a battle between two former welterweight title contenders.
Contracts haven’t been signed just yet, but Dana White announced the news via ESPN, with the bout planned to happen at UFC 264 on July 10. That card will be headlined by the trilogy between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
Both fighters came really close to winning the welterweight title in their previous attempts, and they’re both likely see this match up as a way to get closer to another shot at the belt.
Burns, the #2 ranked welterweight, is coming off a recent loss in his title bid against Kamaru Usman last February. He knocked Usman down early, but the champion managed to survive and turn things around to end Burns’ six-fight winning streak.
Thompson is ranked at #5, and has had two quality wins over Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque recently. He had a majority decision loss and a majority draw in razor thin championship bouts in 2017 and 2018 against then champion Tyron Woodley. “Wonderboy” is 38, and this could very well represent his final run at the title.
Usman is set to defend his title against Jorge Masvidal next at UFC 261. Another high-profile bout that could determine the next challenger is that historic UFC 262 bout between Leon Edwards and Nate Diaz.
Here’s how the UFC 264 card is shaping up so far:
Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3
Gilbert Burns vs Stephen Thompson
Ryan Hall vs Illia Topuria
Jennifer Maia vs Jessica Eye
Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Jerome Rivera
Omari Akhmedov vs Brad Tavares
Tai Tuivasa vs Greg Hardy
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