Gilbert Burns doubts Colby Covington accepts a fight against Khamzat Chimaev.
Burns and Chimaev were involved in a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender at UFC 273 earlier this month. ‘Durinho’ suffered a unanimous decision loss to ‘Borz’, but was still lauded for giving the undefeated upstart the greatest test of his professional career thus far.
Given his own experience, Burns can attest to just how tough Chimaev is for anyone in the welterweight division, including his next proposed opponent. UFC president Dana White previously said that should Chimaev defeat Burns, a fight against Covington in an ABC headliner would be on the way. If that is still the plan, the Brazilian suggests the promotion get a Plan B ready.
“That’s a tough fight, but first thing is first – Colby has to accept the fight and I don’t think he will,” Burns told Danny Segura of MMA Junkie. “I don’t know why, but I just have a feeling he won’t accept the fight. That’s the feeling that I have.
“I think it will be a very tough fight, a very, very close fight. But I just don’t think he’ll say yes. I just don’t think. Maybe Belal [Muhammad] is there and they make Belal vs. Khamzat. I said I’ll be ready for a rematch, so we’ll see. I want big fights, that’s what I’m looking for next. But I don’t think Colby will fight Khamzat.”
Similar to recent comments from Muhammad, Burns also agrees that Covington avoids fights and chooses opponents. ‘Chaos’ has earned wins over Robbie Lawler, Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal, all of whom entered their respective fights on losing streaks.
“Because lately, he’s just getting the fights against guys that are coming off a loss and he picks and chooses,” said Burns. “I just don’t think he will do it. I don’t know. It’s a feeling that I have. He’s not taking this fight.”
If Covington does not want to share the Octagon with Chimaev, Burns would happily do so again. The 35-year-old has requested a five-round rematch, something the Chechen has already expressed interest in.