Gilbert Burns was originally set to challenge Usman for the gold at UFC 251 before having to withdrawal from the card, but UFC President Dana White says Burns will face the winner of Usman versus Masvidal.
“He’s the No. 1 contender,” White told MMA Junkie. “He’s the No. 1 ranked guy in the world. Yeah – he’s the No. 1 guy in the world. The kid is hungry. He wants to fight. He wants to be a world champion – and he’s No. 1. Yeah, that puts him in a pretty good spot.”
Burns was forced to exit the UFC 251 card after testing positive for the coronavirus, alongside members of his corner. Burns, after withdrawing from UFC 251, joins Leon Edwards as the only fighters in the top five of the UFC Welterweight Division to not challenge for the UFC Welterweight Title.
UFC 251 takes place on Saturday, July 11 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.