Gilbert Burns Calls For Title-Eliminator With Leon Edwards: He’s Not The Clear #1 Contender

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns appears to share the same sentiment as the UFC; claiming that the #3 ranked surging contender, Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards is not the clear next challenger to either Kamaru Usman or Colby Covington’s welterweight throne.

Undefeated in his last 10 straight Octagon outings, Birmingham-based all-rounder, Edwards featured in the first five round, non-title, non-main event in the history of the UFC back in June — taking home a unanimous decision victory Nate Diaz.

The victory came as Edwards’ ninth from his most recent 10, with his sole non-victory in that timeframe coming in the form of a second round ‘No Contest’ against Belal Muhammad after he landed an inadvertent eye poke at UFC Vegas 21 in March.

Edwards appeared to have left himself undeniable to UFC brass with his win over Diaz in June, however, a late rally from the Stockton native appears to have changed the narrative of the fight, with the Californian wobbling Edwards in the final minute of the five round bout.

As a result, when speaking with assembled media, promotional president, Dana White confirmed that Edwards would be wise to chase another contender to solidify his title aspirations even further, despite his clear winning run.

Recently, as he struggles to find a willing dance partner to accompany him to the Octagon, Edwards has suggested that the promotion is actively attempting to find a contender to beat him and prevent him from challenging Usman in a rematch, or incoming UFC 268 title challenger, the aforenoted, Covington.

One contender who has wholeheartedly welcomed a potential number one contender showdown with Edwards is Sanford MMA staple, Burns, who has claimed that the Team Renegade BJJ & MMA mainstay is still not a clear contender at welterweight.

“I want Leon (Edwards),” Burns told ESPN MMA during a recent interview. “I know even with that freaking win streak, even though I know he’s not convincing, he’s not clear like Dustin Poirier was. Like Cory Sandhagen was, (it) was not clear that he’s the number one contender.”

“Only guy [Edwards] beat in the top ten was my guy, (Vicente) Luque. And that sh*t was (in) 1999. I don’t even know how long (ago). And after that, he have the eye poke with Belal (Muhammad), and then Nate Diaz. The end was the end to make the freaking statement. But I got it, I got it. I don’t like the guy, I want to fight him, but I don’t think right now.”

Burns currently sits above Edwards in the official welterweight pile — retaining the #2 rank with a UFC 264 co-main event outing against Stephen Thompson, taking a unanimous decision victory over the two-time title chaser.


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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