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Gilbert Burns: Colby Covington is ‘No. 1 guy on my list’

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“No. 1 on my list until that fight doesn’t happen is Colby Covington. He’s the No. 1 guy on my list”.

Gilbert Burns is hoping to return to the UFC by June at the latest to take on former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington.

Burns didn’t respond to Covington’s comments about being an ‘oversized midget’ but said ‘Chaos’ is the ‘No. 1 guy’ on his hit list and hopes a win over the MMA Masters product will earn him a rematch with Kamaru Usman. Usman beat Burns earlier this month via third-round TKO in the UFC 258 main event to retain his welterweight title.

“I got suspended 45 days, they ran all the tests on me backstage and the doctors said I was good,” Burns told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “I had no headache, nothing. I’m good. So March 1 I’m going to see the doctor. After that, we will see. I believe I’ll be good to go by May, maybe June. That’s the date that I’m looking for.

“No. 1 on my list until that fight doesn’t happen is Colby Covington. He’s the No. 1 guy on my list.”

If, for some reason, Covington isn’t available, Burns would like to fight either Stephen Thompson or Michael Chiesa, both of whom are ranked in the top six.

“By the ranks, it’s got to be [Stephen] ‘Wonderboy’ [Thompson] No. 2 and Michael Chiesa,” he said. “Those three guys I’m looking forward to fight. I don’t care the order. If they say ‘Gilbert, who do you want?’ It would be Colby, but if he’s not available, then ‘Wonderboy.’ If he’s not available, then Michael Chiesa. If he’s not available, then the next guy available”.

Burns knows he has his work cut out for him ahead and is willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to secure another title shot.

“I will do four [wins] if I have to – I never had an easy path. “I felt that pain before in jiu-jitsu. I’m a hard worker. I’m going to work hard to get that rematch with Kamaru Usman. Whatever it takes.”

Burns, who was on a six-fight win streak prior to his loss to Usman, is currently #2 in the UFC welterweight rankings and likely one or two more wins away from title contention.