Gilbert Burns has a target for his next UFC fight.
“Durinho" was forced out of a UFC 208 clash with Paul Felder in February and sidelined from training for a month due to an elbow injury, and has asked the promotion for a fight for awhile now.
"Ready to fight since April,” the jiu-jitsu ace wants to test himself against longtime veteran Joe Lauzon.
"I already asked to fight Joe Lauzon a few times,” Burns told MMA Fighting, "but first he had a fight booked, and this time I think he said he will only return in September, but that works for me. I really want to fight him.
"I think that’s a good fight for both of us and for the fans. We’re both great grapplers who don’t shy away from a stand-up fight as well. It would be a great fight. He’s popular, and that would take me to a higher level in the division. It’s a dream fight for me. I’m waiting for him to say yes and (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby to book this fight."
Burns says this match-up makes sense since they are both coming off two losses in their last three bouts inside the Octagon. “Durinho" was 3-0 in the promotion before the recent skid, while Lauzon, a 25-fight veteran under the UFC banner, has bounced between wins and losses for his last eight fights.
"I’m confident I can beat him either standing or on the ground,” “Durinho" said. "He’s a really tough guy, but I’m better prepared physically, my jiu-jitsu is in a higher level, and I train with fighters that are way tougher than him. I have full confidence, not underestimating him, that I can finish him in the first round with a submission or a TKO."
While he waits for an answer from both Lauzon and the UFC about a fight in September, Burns continues to train, and won’t stop volunteering if an opportunity comes.
"I’m evolving in every area I need, trying to become a better athlete, and we’ll see what happens,” he said. "I already started my diet even though I have no fight scheduled. The UFC told me I might fight in September, but nothing set yet. I’m already on diet in case some fight falls through.
"Alan Jouban got injured and I asked to replace him. I saw that Sage Northcutt needed an opponent and I also offered to fight him. If someone gets injured, I’m here."
Both of the fights Burns mentioned are at welterweight, and he’s not against moving up a division on short notice just to compete.
"All I need is three weeks to make weight (at lightweight) and fight,” the Brazilian said. "If it’s on short notice, I can easily fight at 170 as well, but if I have more time I can make 155, no problem. I want to fight."