Gilbert Burns will enter the Octagon tonight as a man determined to make history.
Progress. Fighters like Amanda Nunes, Anderson Silva, José Aldo, Fabricio Werdum, Jéssica Andrade, and many others have progressed much more than just their individual names but that of Brazil. In fact, from the strawweight division all the way up to heavyweight, every single weight class in the UFC has had a Brazilian world champion carry their flag proudly to go along with their championship belt.
But there is just one lone exception to the above factoid. The only division where there has not been a UFC champion is in the welterweight division. Gilbert Burns plans on filling in this blank space in Brazil’s magnificent MMA history tonight at UFC 258.
“Every single one division, except in the welterweight division, they had Brazilian champions,” Burns said in an interview with BT Sport. “And that’s history right there, and I’m always looking forward to history, to become a legend, and I’m on my way. I’m on my way.
“I already beat two legends of the sport: Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. I consider Kamaru as another legend, and I’m on my way to beat him as well and become the new welterweight champion and the first Brazilian welterweight champion. And I can’t wait.”
As you can imagine, stitching the final thread in Brazil’s lineage of UFC champions will serve as a massive source of motivation for Burns. And maybe that motivation will be the final piece needed for Burns to dethrone Kamaru Usman and seize the gold that’s escaped all Brazilian welterweights before him.
Will Gilbert Burns make history tonight and become the first Brazilian UFC welterweight champion ever?