UFC: Gilbert Burns Names Three Men He Wants To Fight Next
Gilbert Burns is a man familiar with the highs and lows of combat sports. Whether it be on the mats of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships or in the UFC Octagon, the 34 year old has dealt with the joys of victory, and the anguishes of defeat.
The Brazilian’s most recent set back came earlier this month at UFC 258, where he suffered a third round TKO loss to Kamaru Usman in his bid to claim the UFC welterweight title. Despite the emotional pain he felt during the immediate aftermath of the fight, Burns’ mentality remains undeterred as he promptly began studying film as soon he returned home.
“I Was Over Excited”
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Burns opened up on the loss, and discussed the mistakes he made.
“I think I did very good in the beginning, but for sure, the same thought that I had in the interview after the fight, I was over excited,” Burns explained. “I had a lot of feelings in me, I thought I’d be able to control that until I knew I wasn’t in control. Another big mistake was going into the break between the first and second round, I was trying to figure what I was going to do, and I was hoping to get something close to the Henri Hooft voice, and he wasn’t there.
“I was hoping for that, get a voice for one of the corners that would be close to that, and in the meantime, I was supposed to take in my deep breath and recover, and I didn’t do that. I was thinking of the next step. As soon as I was back in the second round, I realised oh s***, I didn’t recover, I wasn’t thinking and putting my heart rate down. That was a busy week. No excuses. I lost, but I had a lot of things going on in my head. It was hard to focus, and I paid a price in the fight.”
“I Was Going Off The Trail”
It was well noted that Burns’ head coach Henri Hooft, decided not to be in his corner due to his relationship with Usman, having coached him up until last summer.
“I thought I had that figured out,” Burns stated. “When the first round was like that, I won that first round, and I was feeling that I was going [off] the trail a little bit, I need a guy like Henri Hooft to put on back on the trail and make sure I give the best of my abilities. I thought I had that figured out, but I was wrong.
“I know I can do it. That’s the main thing. I did a couple of mistakes. I overloaded the punch. I got super excited. That was a lot of emotions on that fight, and that was a mistake. When I go into a fight, I’ve got to be with a clean mind. That’s the difference between the champion and the number one, number two contender — the ability to make decisions. I wasn’t able to make the right decision, and Kamaru was able to make the right decision, and that’s it.”
Gilbert Burns vs Colby Covington
Burns is now looking for the quickest path back to title contention, and is eyeing a return either in May or June after he serves his medical suspension. And the former title challenger is targeting a welterweight showdown with Colby Covington.
“I got suspended 45 days, they ran all the tests on me backstage and the doctors said I was good,” Burns said. “I had no headache, nothing. I’m good. So March 1st 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.
“Number one on my list until that fight doesn’t happen is Colby Covington. He’s the number one guy on my list.”
Covington picked up a TKO win over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, in his most recent outing at UFC Vegas 11 last September. Should ‘Chaos’ not be interested however, Burns has a plan A and plan B in Stephen Thompson and Michael Chiesa
“By the ranks, it’s got to be [Stephen] ‘Wonderboy’ [Thompson] number two and Michael Chiesa,” Burns 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.
“I just want to get back in there. For sure I’ve got to be safe, I can’t go out there next week because I’m suspended, and I’m going to respect that, but I want to get back as soon as I can. As soon as possible. People talk whatever they want to talk but a couple guys back it up. I’m here to make a difference. I want to fight everybody in that division.
“Whatever It Takes”
Regardless of who the UFC ends up putting in front of him, Burns is willing do whatever it takes to earn another shot at Usman.
“I will do four [wins] if I have to – I never had an easy path,” Burns said. “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.”
Who would you like to see Gilbert Burns face next?