Title Shot: Burns and Masvidal Look to Leapfrog Covington
by FARUK IMAMOVIC | VIEW 356
Recently, Dana White promised a title shot to Colby Covington following Leon Edwards' first defense of the title this month. This announcement sparked much debate as many fans and experts alike questioned Covington's merit for such an opportunity.
Regardless, he is set to be the next challenger, leaving others to wait their turn.
Burns Remains Hopeful
However, Gilbert Burns remains optimistic about his chances. He believes that a convincing victory against Jorge Masvidal next week could propel him to the forefront of the title picture, allowing him to bypass Covington and challenge for the title immediately.
Burns stated, “One hundred percent, I can steal the show and put doubt on everyone’s mind. It all depends on the performance. If I go out there and dominate this guy and finish what Colby didn’t do in this last fight, what took Kamaru (Usman) seven rounds to do.
If I go out there in one or two (rounds), I think that says a lot. So we’ll see. We’re still 11 days to the fight, there’s work to do, but I’m confident that I’m going to finish Jorge Masvidal”.
Burns is not concerned if Covington does end up receiving the next title shot at 170 pounds. He does not believe that Covington's recent record merits a championship bout, but Burns intends to stick to his philosophy of fighting anyone, anywhere, anytime.
He commented on Covington, “It’s been almost one year since he fought Masvidal, and now he’s coming off two wins, two losses in his last four fights. He sat down for a year. I remember the rumors after Khamzat (Chimaev) missed weight and fought Kevin Holland.
He was supposed to fight Colby, and I don’t know what happened. Then it was Shavkat (Rakhmonov). He was supposed to fight Colby, and that never happened. Now that guy comes out of nowhere and steps in. Colby is smart, but I don’t know why the UFC is giving the opportunity to the guy, but it is what it is.
I hope that doesn’t happen”.
A Clear Path to the Title
Burns has his sights set on making a statement against Masvidal on April 8th. He stated, “I have the opportunity on April 8 to make a doubt in everyone’s mind and go out there and finish this guy spectacularly.
I hope Leon is there. I hope Dana is there. I hope Colby is there. I will put on a clinic against this guy and try to get a title shot. But I’m not going to cry about it if they give it to Colby. I want a clear path. OK, everything goes good against Jorge, what should I do now? Otherwise, I just sit down and wait like this guy is doing and then deserve it.
It’s not just because it’s me, but I’m willing to fight anyone, and I’ve proved that over and over. Yet, this guy sits down for a year and he gets the opportunity. I don’t know, it just doesn’t make sense.
I’m not crying about it. He does whatever he wants to do. He talks and everyone talking about him now. But deserving, earning? I don’t think he did. I’m the only guy in the division that’s willing to fight anyone, and I’m going to keep doing that”.
It is possible that Burns or Masvidal could steal the show and leapfrog Covington for the title shot. However, Dana White's commitment to Covington has been clear and consistent, making it unlikely that the Brazilian and the American will dethrone him from the top spot.