Burns is one of the best fighters in the UFC’s always-difficult welterweight division and has one of the best BJJ pedigrees out of anyone on the roster. While he has begun garnering a reputation for his heavy power punches, there is no denying that the bulk of “Durinho’s” expertise comes from work being done on the mats.
Gilbert Burns Picks Oliveira over Makhachev
Given his previous time spent at 155lb, and how much he has a passion for all things grappling, it is not surprising to hear that Gilbert Burns has a ton of thoughts on the forthcoming lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, a bout that sees two elite grapplers going head to head.
However, some may be surprised to hear that he is picking the underdog, Oliveira, to get the job done against the protege of former lightweight star Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Speaking in a recent interview, Burns said that he does not understand how people can make the claim that Makhachev is better than Khabib, when the Khabib went undefeated in his career, while Makhachev has suffered a KO loss to Adriano Martins.
Moreover, he feels that Oliveira has put it all together in his recent run of fights that saw him capture UFC gold, and he will be able to get it done at UFC 280.
“I heard that Makhachev is very, very good, and he finishes a lot of guys, and has a really good submission game, better than Khabib. But the numbers don’t say that,” Burns said. “People (say) ‘Oh, he’s the new Khabib.’ No, he’s not Khabib. He lost by knockout, he gotten taken down by Thiago Moses, he doesn’t have a lot of finishes…
“Look at the finishes that Charles has,” Burns continued. “I think Charles’s career is way better than Islam. Charles’s striking is way better than Islam. Charles is huge, he’s way bigger than me. Charles is on a very good momentum. I do think Charles is gonna win. I don’t think it’s going to be easy, but I think Charles just finds a way to put himself in a war. It’s going to be a war, but I think Charles is going to win, and it’s going to be good.”
While it is certainly interesting to hear Burns picking Charles Oliveira to win, the oddsmakers do not agree, with Islam Makhachev being as high as a 3:1 favorite. Nevertheless, it is a massive fight for the lightweight division, and one that fans will be watching very closely.
Do you agree with this prediction from Gilbert Burns?