Former welterweight title challenger Burns was last seen in action against top-ranked contender Chimaev in Apr. at UFC 273. He proved to be the toughest test to date for the rising prospect, who went the full distance for the first time in his professional career. Chimaev managed to edge out Burns in a close-fought war that many believe could have swung either way.
Following the barnburner clash, Burns revealed he was promised a big matchup next by UFC president Dana White. ‘Durinho’ had his eyes set on a potential encounter with Masvidal, one of the biggest draws in the sport, and even stated that they had a verbal agreement in place, contrary to Masvidal’s comments that followed up.
Burns took to Twitter on Nov. 14 to rip Masvidal for not accepting the fight and claimed he turned down three offers.
“Just letting everyone know that @ufc offered me @GamebredFighter 3x First time was for Nov 12,” he wrote. “He said he needs more time, second time for Dec 10 he said he was going to to fight me and now he just said no again! so I guess the B from his BMF belt doesn’t stand for bad.”
Meanwhile, ‘BMF’ titleholder Masvidal has been rallying for a third title shot opposite the newly crowned 170-pound champion Leon Edwards.
Burns Called for a Rematch With Chimaev
In an Instagram post shared by Chimaev on Nov. 19, Burns commented on the latest update by his old rival. ‘Borz’ responded with a proposed rematch if he could not cash in a title opportunity at middleweight.
“If Alex not ready to be killed, let’s do it again in Brazil, 84 kg this time,” Chimaev said.
Burns issued his response on Twitter, writing, “any weight @KChimaev.”
A day after, Burns followed up with another tweet indicating preparations for his next fight had begun.
“Camp starts tomorrow! #UFC283.”
Burns concluded with a final message teasing his return to action.
“Heard from the @ufc tomorrow they will have a answer and a name for #UFC283.”
Chimaev Wanted a Title Shot at Middleweight
‘Borz’ is coming off a dominant win over Kevin Holland in Sep. at UFC 279. He was initially lined up to face fan favorite Nate Diaz in the headlining bout of the card but got paired with Holland and bumped down to the co-main event spot after missing the nontitle welterweight limit by a mile.
As impressive as his win over Holland was, there was speculation about whether Chimaev would remain in the division. Although White stated it “made sense” for Chimaev to move up to middleweight permanently, he’s willing to give the undefeated Chechen-born Swede another opportunity at 170 pounds.
With Alex Pereira snatching the 185-pound belt from former champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 281 earlier this month, Chimaev called for a shot at the new champion based on the stylistic matchup with the striking maestro. However, it’s unlikely that Pereira would be ready in time for the promotion’s return to Brazil for UFC 283 on Jan. 21.