Morning Report: Gilbert Burns hopes Kamaru Usman wins at UFC 251: ‘If Masvidal wins, the things are gonna get crazy’

Morning Report: Gilbert Burns hopes Kamaru Usman wins at UFC 251: ‘If Masvidal wins, the things are gonna get crazy’

This Saturday, Gilbert Burns was scheduled to face Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title in the main event of UFC 251. But late last week, Burns was forced out of his title shot when he tested positive for COVID-19 during one of the UFC’s pre-event checks. With Burns out, the UFC turned to the man they had passed over to give Burns a title shot, ‘BMF’ champion Jorge Masvidal, and now, instead of fighting Usman on Saturday, Burns will now be cheering for the welterweight champion.

Speaking to ESPN on Monday, Burns spoke about Masvidal’s short-notice title shot, saying that he would be rooting for his former teammate to retain the belt, because if “Gamebred” becomes welterweight champion, he believes things will get wild in a hurry.

“I want Kamaru to win,” Burns said. “First of all, because I kind of like the guy. He’s not anymore, but he used to be my training partner, so for sure I got Kamaru. And if Masvidal wins, the things are gonna get crazy. It’s going to be a circus in that division. He’s going to fight who else, I don’t know, I think he wants to fight Conor (McGregor) or maybe Nate Diaz. I don’t think the division is going to run correctly, with the number one, number two guys fighting for the title. He’s going to make it a mess, so that’s another reason I want Kamaru to win.”

Burns is probably not wrong. The reason Masvidal was passed over for a title shot originally largely came down to a monetary dispute between Masvidal and the UFC. Should Gamebred win the title, it’s fair to assume those problems won’t just disappear. Furthermore, Masvidal has already explicitly stated that after winning the title, he’d like to return the favor Nate Diaz gave him with the ‘Baddest Motherf*cker’ belt by giving Diaz a welterweight title shot. Then, of course, there is the ever present possibility that Conor McGregor might want a welterweight title shot while he waits for the lightweight title picture to clear up. Anyway you slice it, that doesn’t seem to leave much room for Burns, the current top-ranked contender, and he recognizes that.

“I know if Masvidal wins, things are gonna get crazy,” Burns said. “I might have to do a couple more fights. I don’t mind but for sure I’d rather fight for the title next.”

That being said, watching Nate Diaz fight for the welterweight title might sting. After Masvidal was announced as the replacement for Burns, Diaz Tweeted a seal of approval for the change, declaring “real fights are better fights”, something Burns takes umbrage with.

“He’s a journeyman,” Burns said of Diaz. “I think I can beat the sh*t out of Nate Diaz any day of the week, even with the ‘rona on me. Even with the ‘rona, I believe I can beat Nate Diaz, out-box him, out-grapple him. I can slap that guy up easily. The guy comes out and does those comments, I’m a real fighter too, bro. I used to respect this guy a lot but I’m a real fighter too.”

He certainly is. Since moving up to welterweight last year, Burns is 4-0 with wins over Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia, and former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. And while in normal circumstances that kind of run would guarantee him a shot at the winner of UFC 251, again, Burns is ready for the possibility that he will have to sing for his supper.

“I don’t mind to fight more” Burns concluded. “Like I said, if Masvidal wins and then he picks Nate, let’s say he picks Nate for the end of the year, I don’t care. I’m gonna fight. I’m a fighter. I’m not gonna be hiding out, waiting, ‘Oh, please give me the opportunity.’ I’m going to take the opportunity.”

MUST-READ STORIES

$$$. Jorge Masvidal admits how deal came together to fight at UFC 251, promises to ‘baptize’ Kamaru Usman.

Out. Pedro Munhoz tests positive for COVID-19, pulled from UFC ‘Fight Island’ bout with Frankie Edgar.

Shade. Paulo Costa’s manager says Eugene Bareman ‘lied,’ Israel Adesanya turned down UFC 251 fight.

DUI. UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich arrested on DUI charges in Illinois.

VIDEO STEW

Usman-Masvidal reaction.

Colby Covington reacting to the Usman-Masvidal fight.

Timeline: Volkanovski-Holloway II.

Usman-Masvidal beef history.

Countdown.

Embedded.

Making a difference.

RT Sport’s tribute to Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

LISTEN UP

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 251 and the addition of Jorge Masvidal.

The Bash. Discussing UFC 251 and Eddie Alvarez on the art of negotiation in MMA.

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Confidence.

Dana’s personal hitman is on the way to #fightisland #ufc251 pic.twitter.com/mGT31anqoW

— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) July 7, 2020

Support.

Doesn’t matter who is the opponent, whether is one of the best welterweight of the world or the BMF Champ , the result is going to be the same because the undisputed Champ, the Nigeria nightmare is going to take care of business July 11th. #MybrotherFromAnotherMother #ufc251 pic.twitter.com/SBYkuZ4u5L

— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) July 6, 2020

Gentleman.

Sorry to hear you had a positive test @PedroMunhozmma wish you a speedy recovery let know as soon as you’re ready to scrap, I’ll be waiting.

— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) July 7, 2020

It seems like Aljo has plans.

Is Frankie in Abu Dhabi?

— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 7, 2020

Time to pack ✈️

— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 7, 2020

— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) July 7, 2020

Sharks in the water.

I’m here in shape corona free let’s go

— Chito Vera (@chitoveraUFC) July 7, 2020

Jimmie rivera @JimmieRivera135 has asked me to petition the @ufc for the fight against Edgar. I have submitted his name and waiting on the response. Balls in frankies court

— malki kawa (@malkikawa) July 7, 2020

I’m on Fight Island and ready to go. https://t.co/mmlbkc8Je2

— Ricky Simón (@RickySimonUFC) July 6, 2020

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I fought on 2 weeks notice and had one of the best performances of my life. I’ll travel around the world tomorrow and fight one of the best to ever do it @frankieedgar if that’s what the @ufc wants. Send the contract, then the jet. I’m in. #ufc #fightisland

A post shared by Cody Stamann (@codystamann) on Jul 6, 2020 at 7:12pm PDT

DC and Corey Anderson working together now.

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#motivationmonday 6 years ago TODAY I won the Ultimate Fighter and shared the platform with @frankieedgar and @dc_mma and told DC “I’m here to be the best and if that means I gotta beat you to get there, so be it”. . . . FFW 6 years from that moment to now and I just finished my first training/sparring session with the man himself as he flew me out to help him out with his upcoming fight and sharing tips and advice. Crazy how life works his way out!! From an unknown kid to the #4 LHW in the @ufc to being asked to come out and help the former #doublechamp reclaim his belt. This life is a blessing!!! Just continue to chase your dreams. And oh yeah…. WE WENT AT IT TODAY! . . . #ufc #champ #andnew #letsgo #dc #overtime #weworking #thebestisyettocome

A post shared by Corey ‘Overtime’ Anderson (@coreya_mma) on Jul 6, 2020 at 2:52pm PDT

Lol. Now we know that’s not gonna happen.

What if? #TripleC pic.twitter.com/z5T0go1a3U

— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 7, 2020

Looking to return.

@danawhite I’m ready to come take the belt or any fight whenever you are ready for me Mr. Dana. I have been constantly training and I am more ready than ever to deliver the kind of fight the UFC is looking for. No one will be able to stop me when I come back pic.twitter.com/Zkh5aCczOH

— Diego Brandao #UFC #RIZIN #RCC_MMA #FNG (@DiegoBrandaoMMA) July 7, 2020

Very philosophical.

View this post on Instagram

There are fighters, athletes & artists… Which one are you?

A post shared by Georges St-Pierre (@georgesstpierre) on Jul 6, 2020 at 6:43pm PDT

New poster.

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And you didn’t think the island could get any bigger #InAbuDhabi @VisitAbuDhabi #UFC251

A post shared by ufc (@ufc) on Jul 6, 2020 at 7:33am PDT

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Claudia Gadelha (18-4) vs. Yan Xiaonan (12-1, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, Sept. 26.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.

EXIT POLL

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Who wins this weekend?

  • Jessica Andrade

  • Rose Namajunas

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  • 84%
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    (440 votes)

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