With just two weeks to go before his first title matchup against former training partner Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns is confident he’ll be an active UFC welterweight champion – should he win the belt – and has publicly vowed to wipe out each contender rising through the rankings.
Bullish Burns warns welterweight division of his versatility
Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) must do what no UFC fighter has done: end Usman’s 12-0 record with the promotion, but the experienced Brazilian certainly believes he’s the man for the task.
Usman earned a comprehensive win over short-notice replacement Jorge Masvidal (#4), but recently revealed a willingness to run that match back in future as he wants an impressive finish.
Burns, who has in-depth knowledge of the champion stemming a reported seven years of training time together, believes he’s precisely what it takes to dethrone Usman.
During an interview with MMA Junkie, the 33-year-old spoke about how there will be no hiding place for the 170-pound contenders should he claim gold early next month.
“I’m just different for these guys, I think I’m a big threat and danger everywhere. If I touch you with my hands, you can feel it. If you try to wrestle me, I can wrestle you.
Grapple with me, it will be even more dangerous. I think I’m a big threat, not only for Kamaru but anyone in that division. I’m about to prove that, then after I believe I’m going to fight all these guys very soon.
After Kamaru, there’s Colby [Covington], Masvidal, Leon Edwards, Khamzat Chimaev, Wonderboy [Stephen Thompson], Michael Chiesa.
Every single one I want to fight, and I will fight all these guys and they will see soon how dangerous I am.”
Assessing future opponents and rising contenders
He stressed an eagerness to be a very active champion – an example of hard work and ready to fight all comers – before saying he believes Chimaev or Covington are next in line.
Edwards-Chimaev is set for March 13, after that welterweight matchup was also shelved twice (December, January) and Rocky’s interview suggests he’ll be next should he win that battle.
Picture source: Getty – quotes via MMA Junkie