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Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns set to co-headline UFC 288 in 5-round fight

UFC 213: Nunes vs Shevchenko Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

UFC 288 has booked a new co-headliner as welterweight standouts Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns face off over five rounds.

UFC President Dana White made the booking official during a special announcement carried on the promotion’s YouTube channel. UFC 288 takes place May 6 at Prudential Center in New Jersey and is headlined by a bantamweight title fight between champ Aljamain Sterling and ex-champ Henry Cejudo. The main card airs live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

“What I love about this fight is both guys wanted it to be five rounds,” said White. “Two of the best guys in the division, and both guys think they deserve a title shot after this.”

Burns, fresh off a win over Jorge Masvidal in the co-main event of UFC 287, volunteered to step up on short notice and called out several opponents, including Muhammad and former interim champ Dustin Poirier.

Burns, the No. 5 ranked welterweight in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings, and No. 6 Muhammad traded verbal barbs after Burns accused him of turning down a fight at UFC 283. Muhammad is unbeaten in his past nine octagon appearances, most recently stopping prospect Sean Brady at UFC 280.

The welterweight fight replaces a lightweight booking between ex-champ Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush, who were rebooked for UFC 289 when Oliveira suffered an injury.

Here is the full card for UFC 288:

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