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Gilbert Burns says Tyron Woodley ‘needs to be strong mentally’ against Colby Covington

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Gilbert Burns gives his take on the proposed welterweight bout between Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington.

UFC Fight Night: Woodley v Burns Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Top-ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns is rooting for Tyron Woodley against Colby Covington, but ‘Durinho’ says ‘T-Wood’ needs to be mentally prepared in the leadup to the bout.

Speaking to The Schmo in a recent interview (h/t The Body Lock’s Abhinav Kini) Burns, who beat Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN 9, said Woodley will have the advantage inside the cage but advised the former UFC welterweight champion to be fully prepared for the mental warfare outside of the Octagon.

“I don’t know. It’s an intriguing matchup because Colby is not going to be that dangerous with the hands,” Burns said of the proposed welterweight matchup between Woodley and Covington. “So with that being said, Woodley doesn’t need to fight with his hands up, watching for shots. His hands can be a little lower and he’ll be able to defend the takedown easily — he’s very strong.

“I don’t know, I hope Tyron Woodley gets his cardio good, he needs to be strong mentally going into that fight. I’m going to see that one. I hope Tyron Woodley wins that one.”

Burns, who is expected to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title later this year, would ideally like to face Covington in his first title defense.

“I’m always going to be against Colby Covington,” Burns said. “He’s personal. I have a list of a lot of guys that I want to fight and he’s number one. He’s the number one guy that I want to beat up.”

“That’s on my plan,” he added. “I’ll become champion. I’m not being cocky, I’m just confident I’ll become a champion. Yeah, Colby is right there to get his ass whooped.”

Burns was expected to face Usman for the welterweight strap at UFC 251 but the Brazilian was forced out of the bout at the last minute after being diagnosed with COVID-19.