Gilbert Burns willing to fight teammate Kamaru Usman for welterweight titleGet the Full StoryPhoto by Jeff Bottari Zuffa LLC
He s already the champion. I ve got to go out there and perform my best against Tyron Woodley to get the shot. But yeah, for sure we re fighting. If Gilbert Burns manages to pull off the upset against Tyron Woodley later tonight in the UFC on ESPN 9 main event, there s a good chance the Brazilian will go on to challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight title.
There s just one problem with that: Burns 18-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC and Usman 16-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC train together at Sanford MMA formerly Blackzilians in Florida.
Burns, however, says he is willing to fight The Nigerian Nightmare no matter how awkward the situation may be in training.
I m professional. He s professional, Burns told MMA Junkie s Farah Hannoun and Nolan King. The numbers, being a No. 1 contender, being a champion - we re talking about opportunities. I have a family. He has a family. It s going to be awkward because I don t know where we re going to train. I don t know if one guy will have to move out to do a camp. But yeah, for sure. We re fighting. It s on me. He s already the champion. I ve got to go out there and perform my best against Tyron Woodley to get the shot. But yeah, for sure we re fighting.
Burns, 33, says he has a great relationship with Usman and credited the reigning welterweight champ for helping him to prepare for T-Wood .
We sparred a couple of rounds, he said. I asked a lot of things about Tyron Woodley. We talked and he gave me a lot of great insight. I still have a great relationship with Kamaru.
UFC on ESPN 9: Woodley vs. Burns takes place later tonight, May 30 at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.