Having shared the Octagon with the undefeated, Khamzat Chimaev earlier this month at UFC 273, Gilbert Burns has claimed that he doubts former interim champion, Colby Covington will accept a fight against the Chechen, despite plans from the UFC to pit the two against each other this year.

Burns, a one-time welterweight title challenger, featured in a high-profile main card clash against Khamzat Chimaev earlier this month at UFC 273 in Jacksonville, Florida – suffering a close, unanimous decision loss to the latter.

The loss returned Burns to the losing circle after he had briefly returned to winning ways in July of last year with a unanimous judging win against Stephen Thompson. 

Gilbert Burns landed a whopping 119 strikes against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273

The Niteroi grappling ace has since welcomed a slew of potential fights since his early month loss to Khamzat Chimaev – including a five round rematch with the AllStars MMA staple, and offered to stand opposite Nate Diaz in the California’s final Octagon fight on his current deal.

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As for Chimaev, the now-#3 ranked contender has been lined up to feature against former interim titleholder, Covington – atop an ABC broadcasted card by UFC president, Dana White, however, as far as Burns is concerned, he doubts Covington agrees to fight Chimaev next.

“That’s a tought fight, but first thing is first – Colby (Covington) has to accept the fight and I don’t think he will,” Gilbert Burns told MMA Junkie during a recent interview. “I don’t know why, but I just have a feeling he won’t accept the fight. That’s the feeling I have.”

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As a result of Burns’ theory, he believes Chimaev will instead meet with the surging, Belal Muhammad – who recently avenged a knockout loss to Vicente Luque this month. 

“I think it will be a very tough fight, a very, very close fight,” Gilbert Burns said. “But I don’t think he’ll say yes. I just don’t think. Maybe Belal (Muhammad) is there and they make Belal vs. Khamzat Chimaev. I said I’ll be ready for a rematch, so we’ll see. I want big fights, that’s what I’m looking for next. But I don’t think Colby will fight Khamzat.” 

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In his most recent victory, Covington headlined UFC 272 back in March against Jorge Masvidal. Handing his former American Top Team teammate a relatively straightforward unanimous decision loss.

However, according to Burns, Covington’s recent opponents – outside of champion, Kamaru Usman – which include the veterans, Tyron Woodley, and Robbie Lawler, indicate that he won’t fight the undefeated Chimaev.

“Because lately, he’s (Colby Covington) just getting the fights against guys that are coming off a loss and he picks and chooses,” Gilbert Burns said. “I just don’t think he will do it. I don’t know. It’s a feeling that I have. He’s not taking the fight.”