Gilbert Burns offers to fight Jorge Masvidal with ‘no takedowns’ in contract

One of the UFC’s best grapplers is happy to completely forget that skill set to get the fight he wants. Former UFC welterweight title challenger and BJJ black belt Gilbert Burns is gunning for a fight against the UFC’s “BMF” champion Jorge Masvidal, and has even agreed to a “no takedowns” clause in the contract. Burns spoke to MMA Fighting about the Masvidal fight.

Burns is coming off a decision loss to Khamzat Chimaev in a Fight of the Night performance at UFC 273, and is currently ranked no. 4 in the UFC’s welterweight division. Masvidal, on the other hand, has lost his last three bouts, including a pair of unsuccessful title fights against current champ Kamaru Usman.

Although Burns’ base martial art is Brazilian jiu-jitsu, he has developed into a fearsome striker under the tutelage of top kickboxing coach Henri Hooft. Burns is so confident in his striking that he says he’ll face Masvidal where Masvidal is the most comfortable — exchanging punches and kicks on the feet.

“I can sign the contract — no takedowns. Let’s just do it. I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to putting on a show. Another crazy fight and another crazy finish and I do believe I can strike with Jorge Masvidal. Once again, I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy. I think he’s very tough, he’s one of the BMF’s, over 50 fights, but I still believe I can knock him out.”

Much more than just a typical BJJ black belt, Burns is plenty accomplished in grappling. He is an IBJJF gi and no-gi world champion, a 2015 ADCC medalist, and has competed in the sport’s biggest promotions. In 2021, for example, he defeated Rafael Lovato Jr. at Who’s Number One, and suffered a defeat against Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa at BJJ Stars.

Despite his deep background in jiu-jitsu, Burns has found plenty of success striking in the UFC. Of his 13 UFC victories, three have come by way of knockout.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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