Ahead of his UFC 287 co-headlining return next weekend against soon-to-be common-foe, Jorge Masvidal, one-time welterweight title challenger, Gilbert Burns claims that no matter where a potential future fight with former interim gold holder, Colby Covington lands, he’s confident of finishing the Clovis native.

Burns, the current #5 ranked welterweight contender, most recently featured on the main card of UFC 283 back in January in his native Brazil, stopping the streak of division record holder, Neil Magny – submitting the veteran with a first round arm-triangle choke in Rio de Janeiro

READ MORE:  Alexander Volkanovski still betting favorite to defeat Yair Rodríguez at UFC 290 in July title fight

Returning to the Octagon next weekend in Miami, Florida – Burns, a resident of the ‘Sunshine State’ is likely entering enemy-territory in his pivotal co-main event slot against hometown favorite, Masvidal, as the duo attempt to leapfrog the aforenoted, Covington into the welterweight title picture. 

Gilbert Burns welcomes potential fight with Colby Covington in the future

Welcoming the possibility of fighting the #2 ranked challenger, Covington before they hang up their respective gloves, Burns claimed that he would be confident of either knocking out or submitting the former.

READ MORE:  Colby Covington willing to offer Conor McGregor UFC welterweight title fight: 'I love what he's done'

“I hope, I hope because I’ve been calling this guy (Colby Covington) out forever,” Gilbert Burns told MMA Junkie during a recent interview. “He’s been smart. He sits out and fights Tyron Woodley and then – relax. And then he fights for the title again. He picks another guy that’s not in his prime coming from another loss, (Jorge) Masvidal. Then he wins and gets another title shot. He’s been smart. I hope that one day we can get this [fight] done.”

READ MORE:  Leon Edwards issues challenge to UFC welterweight contenders: 'There's no freebies, earn your shot'

“I believe I can finish Colby,” Gilbert Burns continued. “I’m a dangerous striker, and if he takes me down, thank you. So, I hope that fight happens. Now, I’m 100 percent focused on Masvidal, but that fight [with Covington] is going to happen, I believe.” 

Calling a return to the Octagon at UFC 290 during International Fight Week in July, Covington, who has predicted a beating “from pillar to post” for undisputed welterweight champion, Leon Edwards, expects to fight the Birmingham native next. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.