Gilbert Burns thinks Leon Edwards is one of the most underrated fighters in the UFC and that the No. 2-ranked welterweight has a legitimate chance of dethroning current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Burns has yet to lock horns with Edwards but the Brazilian has plenty of in-cage with Kamaru Usman, having previously trained with the latter at Sanford MMA as well as challenging ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ for the welterweight title at UFC 258.
Burns came up short in that contest but, where he failed, ‘Durniho’ believes ‘Rocky’ could succeed.
“I think Leon Edwards is very underrated,” Burns, who suffered a stoppage defeat to Usman at UFC 258, told The MMA Underground in a recent interview (h/t Sportskeeda). “He’s very tough, he’s long, he’s a southpaw, he’s a good striker, he’s already a thing … And then he faced Kamaru back in the day so he knows, he’s been there before. I think he’s got a great team, a very under-rated team too. Those guys do an amazing job in the UK working for these guys. I just think he does have what it takes to beat Kamaru and I think it’s going to be a very close fight. I think he might be able to get it done. I think Kamaru has gotta take that fight super seriously.”
Burns also thinks Usman could be distracted by talks of a potential crossover fight with Canelo Alvarez, which would play right into Edwards’ hands.
“The only thing that bothers me is the Kamaru vs. Canelo talking. Lots of different talks, he gotta focus on Leon Edwards,” Burns said. “The guy is really tough, he’s coming hungry, you know? I’m a little afraid for that fight for Kamaru. Leon might be able to get the title. I hope not, but it’s a close fight.”
Usman is still recovering from hand surgery so there’s no word on when, exactly, he’ll face Edwards but the matchup will probably take place during International Fight Week in July.
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