Gilbert Burns believes Michael Chandler will be the UFC Lightweight Champion in 2021
This fight has been rescheduled twice and Burns was hopeful that it wouldn’t be shifted again. He also wasn’t concerned that Colby Covington was #1 in the rankings and didn’t really care for it.
Burns claimed the fight was only agreed verbally but he was training hard and confident of finishing the champ, Usman.
The Brazilian also was asked about Michael Chandler, the big signing from Bellator. Burns claimed that Chandler had it in him to become the UFC Lightweight champion but on one condition.
“I believe so, if Khabib is not back.
“Conversation will be Conor [McGregor], Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Dan Hooker and Charles Oliveira.
“That’s the title conversation from my eyes and I believe Michael Chandler has the power to become the champion.”
Burns also provided an insight into why Chandler chose the UFC, despite interest from other promotion:
“UFC wasn’t the biggest offer money wise but he liked it because he wants to compete.”
Hooker vs Chandler
Before Chandler can think of becoming a champion, he has a tough clash in his UFC debut. The former Bellator champion faces Dan Hooker, someone Burns lost to in the past.
However, that was in a different division for Burns and he brought up how a poor weight cut affected him.
Nevertheless, he backed Chandler to do well against Hooker and even pick up the win:
“Dan Hooker is very tough for that division. Good knees, good calf kicks, good hands, very technical, very smart fighter but on the other side we got Michael Chandler, a beast.
“Bellator former champ, couple of times, beat a lot of guys, a lot of KOs, beat two former UFC fighters as Eddie Alvarez and Ben Henderson, so I think we got a tough one right there for sure.
“I am gonna put all my money on Michael Chandler. I believe it will be a tough one but what I am going to predict that people are going to get surprised by Michael Chandler.
“He’s different, he’s very good with wrestling, very explosive, mixes things up good, has a quick hint. I just believe he’s going to be a champion in the UFC.
“Dan Hooker will be a tough fight but I believe he can do it.”
Burns added that Chandler initially wanted to fight Gaethje. However, Gaethje rebuffed those offers and Burns didn’t know why exactly.
It will be interesting to see how Chandler does at UFC 257 and it should be an absolute cracker of a fight.
This was an exclusive interview from The Schmozone Podcast. For more exclusive interviews and content please follow the link.
More UFC news
- Stephen Thompson provides update on knee injury after win over Geoff Neal
- Dan Hooker is “100%” backing a big win in Jake Paul vs Ben Askren
- BJ Flores claims Jake Paul has a “big advantage” while fighting UFC great Nate Diaz
Follow our dedicated UFC page for instant UFC news and updates