Fresh off his victory at UFC 287 early this month, Gilbert Burns will be stepping back inside the Octagon for another high-profile matchup. As announced by UFC president Dana White, “Durinho” will be co-headlining UFC 288 on May 6th in New Jersey against fellow top-five contender Belal Muhammad.
Gilbert Burns booked for a five-round co-main event bout
While it has been done a few times, it still isn’t as common for the UFC to book a five-round co-main event. But White did reveal that the decision to make the Gilbert Burns-Belal Muhammad matchup a five-rounder was based upon the request of both men.
“What I love about this fight is that they both wanted it to be five rounds. Two of the best guys in the division, and both think they deserve a title shot after this. They wanted five rounds, so I gave it to them,” White said.
After his win over Masvidal, Gilbert Burns demanded for either a title shot or the release from his UFC contract. A win over Muhammad likely puts him back in title contention to face the winner of the planned championship bout between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, which has yet to be made official.
Headlining UFC 288 is a bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and the returning former double-champ Henry Cejudo.
What happened to UFC 288’s original co-headliner?
UFC 288’s co-headliner was originally a matchup between top-tier lightweights Beneil Dariush and Charles Oliveira. The bout was eventually scrapped when the former champion sustained an injury during training.
As announced by White, the said bout has been rescheduled for UFC 289 on June 10th, verifying Dariush’s previous statement. The Vancouver card will be headlined by a third fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña.
Other announced fights
Apart from the Gilbert Burns-Belal Muhammad co-headliner, Dana White announced other major bookings.
June will kick off with a middleweight headliner between Jack Hermansson and Brendan Allen, followed by another 185-pound main event clash between Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier a week later. A high-profile featherweight featherweight matchup between Josh Emmett and Ilia Topuria is also in the mix.
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