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Gilbert Burns: Finishing Rashid Magomedov ‘is a matter of time’

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

SAO PAULO -- Gilbert Burns puts his undefeated record on the line against Rashid Magomedov at UFC Fight Night 77, and plans to show the world that the Russian lightweight is overrated.

Holding an 18-1 record with his only loss coming in a split decision against Frodo Khasbulaev in 2010, Magomedov entered the Octagon for the first time in 2014, kicking off a 3-0 run under the UFC banner with wins over Tony Martin, Rodrigo Damm and Elias Silverio.

Fighting for a third time in Brazil, Magomedov now faces a multiple time jiu-jitsu champion in "Durinho", who also attempts to go 4-0 in the UFC on Saturday night.

"People put a lot of expectations over my opponent, saying he’s tough and technical, and I agree. He’s a good fighter," Burns told MMAFighting.com. "I don’t think he makes things hard for my game, though. I think his ground game is weak. It’s going to be hard to find the distance and the perfect moment to take him down, but I will take him down and dominate him."

"Durinho" made his UFC debut as a welterweight, and then scored a pair of submission victories as a lightweight. Against Magomedov, he says the key is timing.

"He’s tough standing and has a good wrestling, but his ground game is not good," said the Brazilian. "He has a good takedown defense, and he will run away from the ground at all costs. He will try to keep it standing, but that’s what all of my opponents tried to do against me. I will do what I always do: close the distance and get the takedown."

With a 10-0 record and nine stoppage wins, eight in the opening round, Burns says he will catch his opponent eventually.

"It’s a matter of time," Burns said. "I will control the fight eventually. I have to stay calm and use my experience. He can kick and punch me, knock me down, because I’ll be ready for a war. I will be focused on finishing him, tapping him. It’s going to be a war, and I won’t lose any positions to tap him when we go to the ground."