Gilbert Burns Guarantees Michael Chandler ‘Can Be Trouble’ for Khabib or Gaethje

By Marcelo Alonso Sep 24, 2020

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Count Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Gilbert Burns among those that give Michael Chandler a chance should Chandler fight for a belt at UFC 254.

The win for Colby Covington over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC Fight Night 178 brought “Chaos” back to the #1 position in the rankings. According to the #2 Burns, these ranking exchanges will not take away his upcoming title shot.

“Fortunately, this ranking is not made by the UFC,” Burns explained to Sherdog. “I called [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby last Friday and he guaranteed I’ll be the next [challenger]. I’m just waiting for the contract to sign my fight with [Kamaru] Usman.”

Coming from an impressive sequence of six wins in UFC, the former lightweight with four straight wins in his new division did not hide his disappointment with those that voted in the rankings.

“Colby defeated Demian [Maia] by decision, I knocked Demian out in the first round and defeated Woodley in a pretty dominant way,” Burns exclaimed. “When I defeated Tyron, he was #1, so I turned #1 and he fell down to #5. How come Colby beat [the] #5 [fighter], in a less dominant way than me, and robbed me of my first place? That just don’t make sense! I’m not a wrestler and took him down a couple of times, applied a knockdown and almost [finished] the fight twice. That’s unbelievable. But thank God it [did not affect] UFC’s decision.”

Burns also discussed the possibility of his teammate Chandler making his UFC debut fighting a belt against Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje.

“I have no doubt that if someone gets hurt, Michael can be trouble for anyone. He is one of my main sparring partners. In my opinion, he is [a more technical striker] than both. He is faster and more precise than Khabib and Gaethje. Concerning wrestling, he has pedigree to exchange with both to keep the fight standing up, where, as I said, I think he is superior. So, I tell you, if someone is not able to fight, be sure that Chandler is ready to rock,” concluded Burns.

UFC 254 takes place on Oct. 24 at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, United Arab Emirates. The marquee matchup is in the form of a lightweight title unification, as champ Khabib Nurmagomedov faces interim titleholder Justin Gaethje. The current co-main event is Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris at heavyweight, and Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier will also be featured on the main card in the middleweight division.

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