Gilbert Burns has commented on the news that Colby Covington has been selected as the back-up opponent for the forthcoming UFC welterweight title match between incumbent champion Leon Edwards and former champion Kamaru Usman. The main event of UFC 286 will be the Edwards vs. Usman title match on March 18 in London, UK. Covington, a former interim UFC welterweight champion, competed as the back-up or replacement for the Edwards-Usman fight. ‘Chaos’ might take over as the main event of UFC 286 if Leon Edwards or Kamaru Usman decide not to compete for the title.
Gilbert Burns, a former UFC welterweight title challenger, was asked by The Schmo how he felt when Colby Covington weighed in as the back-up competitor. Covington hasn’t fought since defeating Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision in March 2022, to which “Durinho” replied.
He asserted that “Chaos” probably accepted the backup position at UFC 286 in order to prevent the UFC from demoting him to the welterweight division due to inactivity. Burns remarked:
“Since March  will mark a year since his last combat, he must be a wise man. He must therefore struggle and take action. He therefore made a wise decision to cast himself [as the backup]. I don’t know if he requested to be a backup fighter or if the UFC made the offer. But he’s really intelligent. But at least they won’t expel him from the team.”
Gilbert Burns has often called Colby Covington out and has frequently said that ‘Chaos’ is avoiding a battle with him. On that point, “Durinho” highlighted that he will continue to confront all the other fighters in his class while concentrating on his upcoming opponent Jorge Masvidal.
He was also questioned about whether Covington’s role as the backup opponent was a hint that he would face Covington for the vacant welterweight belt. Burns responded by saying he hoped that wasn’t the case but that he wouldn’t be alarmed if “Chaos” got the next title opportunity.
Is a Gilbert Burns vs. Colby Covington matchup conceivable?
Gilbert Burns is scheduled to take on Jorge Masvidal on April 8 at UFC 287. The precise date of Colby Covington’s return and his up-coming opponent have not yet been made public. Covington is the UFC 286 back-up combatant, but the Edwards-Usman matchup is anticipated to proceed as scheduled. According to general belief, if Masvidal is defeated, Gilbert Burns, the No. 5 welterweight in the UFC, could receive a title opportunity or the following bout of a top contender. Additionally, the No. 3-ranked Khamzat Chimaev is supposedly moving up to middleweight next while the No. 1-ranked Kamaru Usman is scheduled to meet the current champion Leon Edwards at UFC 286.
Burns might face Belal Muhammad, who is rated No. 4, as his opponent following the Masvidal contest. But ‘Durinho’ would probably face a higher-ranked opponent if he were to defeat a UFC megastar like Masvidal. So, it wouldn’t be out of the question if Burns and Colby Covington, who is ranked No. 2, faced up.