Sunday, May 22, 2022

Gilbert Burns: Covington Needs To Fight A Real Contender Next

Gilbert Burns believes Colby Covington should go after a “real” contender for his next opponent.

Covington remains the #1 ranked contender for the welterweight title after defeating Masvidal in their grudge match. But since he has twice failed to dethrone the UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman, it leaves many wondering who will be in his next matchup.

Masvidal Covington UFC 272
Masvidal Covington UFC 272

Colby Covington has continued to call out Dustin Poirier. However, Poirier is likely to fight Nate Diaz next, so there is much uncertainty surrounding that noise.

Many of the ranked fighters of the welterweight division present strong challenges for Covington. For instance, the #2 ranked Gilbert Burns, who along with Kamaru Usman, has been devastating his welterweight competition.

Potential Opponents For Covington

Outside of a trilogy with Usman, Covington has called out Poirier, Nate Diaz, and even Israel Adesanya—no one within the top 5 of his division.

Gilbert Burns, who is right under Colby in the rankings, had this to say in an interview with Helen Yee Sports:

“I think he should fight a real contender, 170. Very hard to call up Dustin Poirier. Dustin Poirier, he’s doing a good job at lightweight, but he’s in lightweight. I don’t think he’s going to move to 170, for sure, he’s open to fight Nate Diaz or do a couple fights, but I don’t think that’s he’s gonna change up.

“And then, I think Colby should fight a real contender. Long time ago, he don’t fight real contenders on 170. I think he should face maybe the winner of me and Khamzat or maybe the winner of Luque and Belal or maybe a real contender like Sean Brady, I don’t know, one of these guys. You gotta face a real contender.”

Belal Muhammad, Vincente Luque, Khamzat Chimaev, Sean Brady
Belal Muhammad, Vincente Luque, Khamzat Chimaev, Sean Brady, Photo Credit: Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports / Jeff Bottari/Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC, Thomas Lakes, MMA Fighting

A fight with Covington could potentially put Burns next in line for a title shot if a victory over Chimaev at UFC 273 isn’t enough to earn him that spot. And it will be a phenomenal year for Khamzat Chimaev if he remains undefeated after facing Burns and then gets a fight with the #1-ranked Covington.

Vincente Luque faces Belal Muhammad next month. Both fighters have proven their tremendous power and head into their match with impressive win streaks.

The undefeated Sean Brady is steadily approaching the top 5. Could Colby put an end to Brady’s unstoppable win streak?

Covington has yet to call out anyone currently in the top 5 of the welterweight division. Now that he got Masvidal out of the way, a win against another top-ranked fighter could grant him his third title shot.

Who do you think Colby Covington should fight next?

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