Gilbert Burns bounced back from his UFC welterweight title loss to Kamaru Usman in February with a convincing unanimous decision victory over perennial contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
After getting that win, Burns is eager to build back up to another title shot. And he thinks he knows the fight that will get him there soonest. In a UFC 264 post-fight scrum ‘Durinho’ explained that he wants to move on from the famously chipper Thompson to a fighter with much nastier reputation.
“I just took the ‘NMF’ (Nicest Mother Fucker) belt,” said Burns, referring to the novelty belt Thompson was gifted by his managers at Paradigm Sports (ht MMA fighting). “I can take the ‘BMF’ (Baddest Mother Fucker) belt.”
“If Leon [Edwards] wants, he can get it; if Nate [Diaz] wants, he can get it,” continued Burns. “I know I just got a title shot, I can’t ask for another title shot, I don’t believe they’re gonna give it to me, so I want to keep working. I want to keep staying disciplined, keep getting better. I need to find that balance to stay disciplined but at the same time get a finish. Just gonna keep working. Give me any one of these guys.
“The only thing is I like the Masvidal fight a lot, but he just got two losses. He make a lot of money, so [they] gotta give me an extra check to fight him. I fight Masvidal next, but put me on a pay-per-view card and I’ll fight him, it’s gonna be a crazy one.”
Burns earned his title shot against training partner and friend Usman with a six fight winning streak which included victories over former champion Tyron Woodley and a TKO win over fellow BJJ ace Demian Maia.
Masvidal’s last two contests were both loses to Usman. In 2020 he lost a unanimous decision to the champ after he came in on short notice. In April he lost by KO. Prior to those losses he was on a three fight winning streak that included a TKO win over Nate Diaz (for the ‘BMF’ belt), a sensational flying knee against Ben Askren and a KO of Darren Till.
Burns may find the matchmakers agreeable to pitting him against ‘Gamebred’. However, when it comes to making extra money... let’s just say he might have better luck starting his own MMA league.