As the MMA world scrambles to find UFC Champion Leon Edwards’ next opponent, Gilbert Burns warns against giving Colby Covington another chance at the belt.
“I think he’s gotta fight,” Burns told The Schmo in an interview this past weekend. “Guy hasn’t fought in a year. His last fight was Masvidal then he disappeared. I hope he’s not next, but like I said, what I hope sometimes doesn’t come true.”
The welterweight division’s hierarchy has been in chaos since former king Kamaru Usman failed to reclaim it at UFC 286, and many former title challengers lie inactive or cut from the promotion. But despite established names like Burns keeping themselves busy with fights in the meantime, UFC President Dana White has already tapped Covington for a title shot.
“I don’t know when we’ll do it, but yea, that’s the fight that makes sense,” White stated at the UFC 286 presser. White also praised Covington’s commitment to making weight as a backup fighter, and referred to him as, “…the second or third best guy in the world.”
Covington has been out of the octagon for the past year, with his last fight being a unanimous decision win over former teammate Masvidal at UFC 272. The two later got into a physical altercation on the street, but have both been otherwise dormant in the news cycle.
Covington last challenged Usman for the belt at UFC 268, losing a five round decision. Burns has similarly come up short against Usman, but returned to the win column with a slick arm triangle on Neil Magny last January and has a bout with Masvidal set for April.
Despite the arguments for more active fighters deserving a title shot, Burns remains focused on his next fight.
“If he’s [Covington] next, it’s all good. I still gotta beat Jorge, but then I beat the other guys that are in there and I’m not making too many expectations. I just gotta keep on winning my fights and eventually I’m gonna get a title shot. That’s where I’m at right now.”
Masvidal is currently riding a three fight losing streak, and last fought a losing effort against Covington in March, 2022.
About the Author: Kevin Bradley is a Jersey-based grappling journalist for Bloody Elbow. He began writing for the site in 2022, and has covered both BJJ and MMA news since 2018. (full bio)
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