Two former title contenders have verbally agreed to a fight, it’s just a matter of UFC locking in an appropriate date.
During an interview with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie. Burns said he has been asking for the matchup for the past several months, and Masvidal (35-16 MMA, 12-9 UFC) has expressed interest as well, if he was not able to get his fight vs. Conor McGregor next.
With no signs of a McGregor comeback as he films the “Roadhouse” movie remake, Burns said Masvidal has committed to a showdown.
“Nothing done yet – a lot of talks about the fight with Masvidal – he verbally agreed. I did too,” Burns told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “They’re just figuring out the date. No date yet. November was too close, … so December or January. At least I know I have an opponent. Just figuring out the date right now.”
Burns said he’s flexible when it comes to a date and location to fight Masvidal.
UFC 281 takes place Nov. 12 in New York, UFC 282 is Dec. 10 – most likely in Las Vegas – and UFC 283 takes place Jan. 21 in Rio de Janeiro. As a Brazilian, Burns said he likes the idea of a homecoming in January, but he’s not going to take a hard stance.
“No. 1 would be MSG in November, but then he said no for that date,” Burns said. “Now December or January, I can wait like 20 more days to go to Brazil. I’m looking forward to go to the Brazil card.”
With Masvidal on a three-fight losing streak, an argument could be made that No. 6-ranked Burns is not the ideal matchup to help him get back on track.
Burns, for his part, is coming off a defeat against Khamzat Chimaev. He is hungry to get back in the win column, and although he’s not overlooking Masvidal, he said he’s confident in a definitive victory.
“Even though he’s coming from losses, it’s just from Kamaru (Usman) and Colby (Covington) – it’s not like, ‘Oh, he’s been destroyed,’” Burns said. “He lost to two of the best guys in the division, so I don’t look down on him. It’s going to be a good fight. Entertaining, both guys coming from a loss, and I want to take his head off.”