Gilbert Burns was on the losing side of an all-time war against Khamzat Chimaev on Saturday, but the 35-year-old Brazilian is not going to let the loss deter him from his ultimate goal of being a UFC champion.
Burns issued a statement following his loss via social media, sending a warning to the rest of the division that he won’t stop until he’s got that UFC strap around his waist.
“Had a lot of fun yesterday unfortunately was not enough to get the win. Shoutout to my family, team, sponsors and fans for the support! Love you guys Another lesson learn! I won’t rest until I have the belt!” he wrote. “Thank God another opportunity to do what I love!”
Burns also posted some photos from the fight, asking fans if it was the fight of the year.
Gilbert Burns Earns Major Respect After Loss
Despite being on the wrong side of the decision, Burns gained some major respect by hanging and nearly besting Chimaev, who was a massive favorite for the fight. UFC president Dana White decided to give Burns his win bonus, calling the fight one of the best ever.
“I’m gonna give Burns his win money, too. He’s gonna get his show and win. That fight was ridiculous,” White told reporters. “It’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen, it’s one of the coolest fights I’ve ever been to. The place was so loud and people were going crazy. That fight was eclipsing the co-main and main event all week.”
He also earned the respect of Chimaev, who was adamant all week that he was going to take his head off early in the fight.
“I was too excited to knock him out,” Chimaev said in his post-fight press conference. “I was saying to everybody all week I was going to knock him out in one round. I tried to knock him out. That was wrong for me, from the beginning.
“The guy was tough, I didn’t accept that. From the first second to the last second, I tried to finish him. Next time, I’m going to work to be a little bit smarter. I’m going to smash somebody.”
Gilbert Burns Likely Still in Title Picture After Loss
Burns took a risk battling Chimaev, an undefeated rising star who has already built up a dominant championship aura. Burns likely won’t fall too far from his No. 2 spot in the ranking and could position himself for a title shot with a few more wins.
“You heard Gilbert. He said, ‘I was prepared to die tonight. I wasn’t gonna come in here and roll over.’ He took some big shots tonight,” White said. “He looked good, man. He’s fought four times in two years in the UFC. And most of them without a crowd.”
Colby Covington is likely next for Chimaev, with the winner getting a title shot against Kamaru Usman. Burns could face the winner of Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad, the No. 4 and No. 5 contenders, respecivley. They face off next week as the headliner of UFC Fight Night.