Gilbert Burns is hoping to get a UFC fight with Jorge Masvidal next, and even said he’d contractually agree not to shoot a single takedown if it happens. Masvidal responded that he’s open for the matchup, although he specifically declined the no-takedown offer.
Either way, Burns’ brother — fellow UFC fighter Herbert Burns — isn’t confident it’ll happen.
“I honestly think Masvidal doesn’t want this fight,” Burns said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca ahead of his UFC Long Island fight against Bill Algeo.
“He can’t turn down a fight since he’s the [Baddest Motherf*****] champion,” Burns said. “If you’re the baddest man on the planet, how can you turn down a fight? You have to be up for it, but I think Masvidal doesn’t want this fight. If they do fight, Gilbert will end him. I don’t see this fight going past the second round. Gilbert finishes this fight.”
“Durinho” last fought in April, losing a back-and-forth battle with 170-pound sensation Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273.
Masvidal, on the other hand, hasn’t won in nearly three years and dropped his past three bouts to champion Kamaru Usman and former interim titleholder Colby Covington.
“The easiest path to victory [for Gilbert] would be to take him down and submit him,” Burns said. “Masvidal has good takedown defense, he’s not bad in anything. He has jiu-jitsu and striking, decent defensive wrestling, but Gilbert is better than him in all areas and is more motivated, wants to become champion, and I think Masvidal is content with the celebrity life he has.”
“‘Durinho’ can knock him out, no doubt. It’s a bad match-up for Masvidal. Masvidal doesn’t have the game for him. He couldn’t stop Colby from closing the distance, he couldn’t stop wrestlers from doing their thing. He’s struggled with that his entire career, and ‘Durinho’ imposes those same difficulties with his world-class jiu-jitsu. ‘Durinho’ is better than him in all areas, knocks him out or submits him. If they fight, it won’t go to a decision. ‘Durinho’ finishes it early.”
In the meantime, Herbert Burns is focused on getting his own work done in his first bout since injuring his knee in 2021.
Originally booked to face 23-0 newcomer Khusein Askhabov on Long Island, “The Blaze” is now happy to share the cage with a fighter with more experience under the UFC banner.
“I really want to get back on track,” he said. “My last fight was a loss and it was the worst performance of my MMA career. I was in horrible shape and tried my best to make weight, destroying my body and my performance in the process, and still missed weight. It’s not an excuse, hats off to Daniel Pineda, he was better than me that night, but I can’t wait to show vintage ‘The Blaze’ Saturday and unleash the beast, and put on one of the best performances of my career to put my name on the radar for the featherweight rankings.”
The change of opponents only meant “changing the name of the victim,” Burns said, and his plan is to “run through” Algeo.
As for a potential rematch with Pineda to prove he wasn’t at his best in their first meeting at UFC 252, Burns said he and Pineda must get a few good wins first for it to make sense.
“More than a rematch, I want to get ranked and become champion,” Burns said. “If the rematch makes sense, if he gets a good victory, I’ll definitely want the rematch because I’m sure the outcome would be different, but it’s not something I’m obsessed with. The only thing I’m obsessed about it getting to the rankings and climbing to the top of the division.”