Gilbert Burns had all eyes on him after dominating former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC on ESPN 9 on Saturday. Following his impressive performance, he made an interesting decision to call out his teammate, who just so happens to be welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
“I don’t know – it’s going to be weird, but we’re both professionals,” Burns said in his post-fight news conference. “I like the guy a lot. He motivated me a lot when he became champion and I saw him come from zero. And we always like to work together because I have the jiu-jitsu and he has the wrestling. So I don’t know. It will be weird, but I want to fight for the title and he’s the champion, and that’s the only reason I would call for this fight because else it wouldn’t make sense.
“I want to go for the title next and I know (Jorge) Masvidal and all that craziness. But I told (UFC president) Dana (White) backstage I’m available for July. So if those guys keep being crazy, I want to fight for the title. If I don’t fight for the title, give me who’s available. If not Colby (Covington), give me Leon Edwards or whoever. I just want to stay busy.”
Burns has now inserted his name has one of the top contenders at 170-pounds. Whether he’ll get his title shot that he called for is unclear at this moment, but one thing that is for certain is that Burns is riding high after earning the biggest win of his career.
“I executed everything I trained. I visualized everything with the finish,” Burns said. “I didn’t get the finish, but that is not at bad thing because I wanted to show everyone I could fight five rounds with a former champion, take him down and do everything that I did. For sure, there are a lot of things that I need to get better – a couple of things that (coach) Henri (Hooft) pointed for me. But I’m happy with my performance for sure.”
Gilbert Burns is now 4-0 since moving back up to welterweight last August. His wins came against Woodley, former title challenger Demian Maia, Gunnar Nelson and Alexey Kunchenko.