Gilbert Burns has little to gain and everything to lose against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273 — but that’s not the way ‘Durinho’ sees it.
Burns, a UFC veteran of 17 fights, specifically asked for Chimaev because he believes a win over the undefeated welterweight could elevate him back into title contention.
A loss, however, could send Burns plummeting back down the rankings but that’s a risk the Brazilian is willing to take.
“The way I see is the risk is very big, you know, but the reward is very big, as well,” Burns told The Underground ahead of UFC 273. “A lot of people are going to be watching. Dana said – I know that opinion can change, but he said the winner of this fight might get the title shot. So yeah, for sure, it’s worth it to fight this guy.”
“Very tough. Young. Hungry. But if not him, I’ll be freaking waiting for another guy to say yes, and let’s say if I beat another guy that’s not Khamzat, if the fight goes like so-so, he’s not giving me the title shot, so for me, I go all-in on this fight,” Burns continued. “If I win, I get another title shot. If I lose, I need to get a couple. That’s a few steps back. Then you’ve got to get another fight, but I go all in. I don’t care.”
Burns is currently a +370 underdog against Chimaev but UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has tipped the top-three welterweight to pull off the upset on April 9.
UFC 273, which features Burns vs. Chimaev on the main card, takes place this Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.