Burns may not have been the first fighter to be offered the title shot, as Leon Edwards says the offer first went to him.
Edwards made the claim through Twitter:
For those asking, yes I got offered the shot before Gilbert. We couldn't make it work this time. 2020 has been tough for me on this side of the world, as it has been for alot of people, but fuck it, you cant stop what is inevitable.— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) June 9, 2020
The strap will be mine. Continue to stay safe everybody— Leon 'Rocky' Edwards (@Leon_edwardsmma) June 9, 2020
It should be noted that Burns is ranked #1 in the welterweight division while Edwards sits st #5, while Edwards has a longer winning streak, which is at eight compared to Burns’ six.
UFC 251 takes place on Saturday, July 11 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.