A massive welterweight showdown with possible title implications has been verbally agreed to for UFC 264 on July 10. — with most recent title challenger, Gilbert Burns targeted to matchup with two-time championship chaser, Stephen Thompson. As of writing, a location or venue has yet to de determined for the event.
Suffering his first loss at welterweight since his divisional return in 2019, Burns unsuccessfully pried the welterweight crown from former Sanford MMA teammate, Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February, dropping a third-round knockout defeat.
Headlining UFC Vegas 16 in a reworked main event last December, fan-favourite striker, Thompson took home his second consecutive unanimous decision victory in a comfortable five-round display against the then-surging, Geoff Neal. UFC president, Dana White informed ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto of the earmarked tie.
Burns, a four-time World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion had notched four straight victories on his way to his premier title challenge under the UFC’s scrutiny earlier this month.
Landing back at the welterweight limit back in August of 2019 at UFC Fight Night Montevideo, Burns took home a unanimous decision win over Alexey Kunchenko, before traveling to Copenhagen in another unanimous judging performance against Gunnar Nelson.
In March of last year, Burns took co-main event honours at UFC Fight Night Brasilia, stopping fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu standout, Demian Maia with an opening-round knockout. In his most recent win, Burns knocked back former undisputed champion, Tyron Woodley at UFC Vegas in May last with a unanimous decision win.
Thompson, 38, looks to earn his third attempt at undisputed welterweight gold when pitted against Burns in July — following a pair of unsuccessful challenges against then-champion, Woodley between 2016 and 2017.
A renowned kickboxing talent, Thompson has scored an 11-4-1 promotional resume, notching eye-catching wins over the likes of the above-mentioned, Neal, recent UFC 260 victor, Vicente Luque, Jorge Masvidal, Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Patrick Cote, and Robert Whittaker.