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Gilbert Burns calls for Jorge Masvidal fight: ‘I can sign the contract, no takedowns … I believe I can knock him out’

UFC 273: Burns v Chimaev Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

Coming off a “Fight of the Year” candidate in his previous outing, Gilbert Burns looks to add another before 2022 is over.

The one-time UFC welterweight title challenger already has an opponent in mind for his return to action following a war with Khamzat Chimaev in April. He hopes his next fight will give him five rounds to work.

“For me, what would make sense for me, is Jorge Masvidal,” Burns told MMA Fighting. “Like I said multiple times, the guy’s got over 50 fights. Crazy knockouts. Remember the Ben Askren one, remember the Darren Till one. The guy just beat Nate Diaz. That’s the fight that I want.

“He’s coming from two losses, but that’s to Kamaru Usman, the pound-for-pound champion, and Colby Covington, No. 1 [ranked welterweight]. That’s the fight that I want. It’s the fight that makes sense. That’s the one that’s going to get me going, motivate me, and I still believe I can beat the guy. That’s the fight that I want next, Jorge Masvidal.

“He already showed a lot of interest in it, too. I think the UFC showed interest. I think that’s next. Just got to see when and I think we’re going to put on a hell of a show for everybody. I’m going to try to beat him up, he’s going to try to do the same, it’s going to be a crazy one.”

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Masvidal also expressed his interest in a potential matchup with Burns, especially after watching the back-and-forth battle he had with Chimaev.

“I like the way he fights,” Masvidal said about Burns. “I like the way he competes. He comes to f***** give it his all.”

While Masvidal is currently on a three-fight skid, Burns still believes the two-time title challenger is an elite welterweight who can put on a show similar to his most recent fight, which afterward received almost universal praise.

“I’m not taking nothing away from the loss to Kamaru and the loss to Colby,” Burns said. “Those two guys are the highest-ranked guys in the division. I still have a ton of respect. I think he is a [bad motherf*****], and so am I. I have bad intentions coming to fight Masvidal, I think he has the same. I know he’s going to come for a finish. Why not?

“BMF belt on the line here in Florida? I think a lot of people are going to tune in to watch that fight. It’s got to be five rounds. I think it’s going to be a crazy one.”

Following a loss to Covington in March, Masvidal immediately addressed his biggest weakness: the inability to stop takedowns from his former teammate, an All-American collegiate wrestler.

On paper, Burns could present a similar problem considering he’s a decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu stylist. But he promises that’s not the fight he wants. He’s even willing to set his grappling game completely aside if Masvidal is ready to sign a contract to face him.

“I can sign the contract — no takedowns,” Burns said. “Let’s just do it. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to putting on a show. Another crazy fight and another crazy finish and I do believe I can strike with Jorge Masvidal.

“Once again, I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy. I think he’s very tough, he’s one of the BMF’s, over 50 fights, but I still believe I can knock him out.”

Despite coming up short against Chimaev in a close decision, Burns felt the adoration from fans and fellow fighters for his gladiator-like performance. He would love to experience that again, which is just another reason why he believes Masvidal is the perfect counterpart.

“To be honest, to be who I am, I want a little bit more juice I got from the last fight,” Burns said. “A lot of love and support from the fans and I kind of fell in love with that. I always want to fight like that. I told my coach a couple times, I want to fight like [Michael] Chandler, like Justin Gaethje, I want to fight like that. I love the way it was the last time.

“For sure, I want the win but I like the love and the support from the community. I want that back. I want to fight with Masvidal and I want to go to war with him. I’m not looking for an easy fight. I felt both medicines. I felt holding down ‘Wonderboy’ [Stephen Thompson] and getting all the hate with the win and losing to Khamzat, having that war and getting all the love. I want that back. I want a war with Jorge Masvidal. He wants it, I want it, why not? Especially if they come to South Florida? That’s sold out right there. All the Brazilians against the Cubans, it’s going to be a crazy one.”