UFC welterweight star Colby Covington is one of the most polarizing figures in sports, so it’s probably not a surprise to him when he receives threats from other fighters via social media.
Still, he probably never saw this latest one coming.
After all, Gilbert Burns, while one of the top 170-pounders in the sport, has also seemed like one of MMA’s genuinely kindest people up to this point in his career.
But Burns became the latest UFC star to call out Covington this week via social media, and he did so by threatening to take things outside the cage if necessary. Burns claims he might “slap” Covington outside the Octagon if the American refuses to accept the proposed welterweight showdown.
Burns posted, “We looking for June! 2 guys said yes! Colby said no! I said yes for both waiting for the UFC now.”
A few hours later, Burns dedicated an entire social media post just to calling out Covington again.
This time, Burns threatened him with the slap. He posted, “I don’t want (to) slap this guy for free, even though he deserves! But if he keep saying no to fight me, I might have to…”.
Burns is coming off a stoppage loss to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February, but now the 34-year-old Brazilian hopes to secure a fight against former interim champ Covington.
The potential megafight would pit two of the top contenders at 170 pounds against each other, but it’s unclear right now whether the fight will actually happen.
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Who Will Covington Fight Next?
Covington, 33, hasn’t fought since defeating former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in September 2020.
That dominant win solidified Covington’s standing among the other top contenders at 170 pounds.
After the victory, Covington was hoping to secure a grudge match against former friend and ex-teammate Jorge Masvidal or a rematch against Usman, but those two superstars ended up facing each other.
Now, UFC fans will have to wait to see what Covington decides to do next. His decision is sure to affect one of the UFC’s hottest divisions in a big way.
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UFC Welterweight Division Is Stacked
Covington is currently ranked the No. 1 contender to Usman at 170 pounds, but the rest of the top five includes Burns (No. 2), Leon Edwards (No. 3), Masvidal (No. 4), and Stephen Thompson (No. 5).
Covington reportedly turned down last weekend’s slot vs. Edwards, and he also hasn’t seemed too keen on facing “Wonderboy” Thompson next.
Now, Burns is claiming Covington also doesn’t want to fight him either. With Usman vs. Masvidal 2 on the horizon, that might mean Covington is waiting things out in hopes of getting a slot vs. the winner next.
That strategy might end up giving him the chance to fight for UFC gold again in his next fight, but it also might get him slapped over it.
At least, that’s what the jilted Burns revealed via social media on Thursday.
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