Take Me Down; I Dare You

Gilbert Burns is laying down a challenge to all grapplers in the UFC’s 170-pound division: take me down if you dare.

At UFC 258, Gilbert Burns will challenge Kamaru Usman for the welterweight championship. Usman’s greatest weapon over the years has been his ability to seemingly take opponents down at will and outwrestle anyone he has engaged in grappling with. Gilbert Burns expects that to change when the two meet on February 13. This is because the 2nd-degree Brazillian jiu-jitsu black belt believe that no one, including his UFC 258 opponent Kamaru Usman, will have any answers for him on the mat.

“If they do take me down, what are they gonna do?” Burns asked about the UFC’s welterweight grapplers on the TSN MMA Show. “Take me down. I’m waiting for it. I want that. I want to grapple you guys. I want to see if you guys are ready for my scrambles, for my offense when my back’s on the floor. And if I do get a sweep, what are you gonna do? You gotta run up, all the way up, and I have speed in my hands. I hit hard. So I’m ready.

Gilbert Burns of Team UFC and Kazushi Sakuraba of Team PRIDE grapple during the QUINTET Ultra event at Red Rock Resort Spa & Casino on December 12, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty

“And I think I’m the worst matchup for a lot of guys, and if they want to take me down, try it. It’s not gonna be easy. If they do take me down, let’s see. I just hope they try to take me down.”

Gilbert Burns Wants Welterweight Grapplers To Answer One Question

Gilbert Burns is currently ranked #2 in the welterweight division, and the only two men above him in the division are Colby Covington and, of course, the champion Kamaru Usman. Even though Usman and Covington are at the top of the welterweight rankings, Burns believes that he matches up better against those two than some of the other fighters ranked lower in the rankings.

“I still believe for Masvidal, for Edwards, I still believe I’m a bad matchup for these guys. More for the grapplers for sure because all they do is take people down. So take me down, especially in the beginning. If you (let) me a little bit more relax, don’t put pressure, then I’m coming. If you come, then I’m coming, too.

“If you do take me down, what are you gonna do? I want these guys to answer this question.”

Perhaps Kamaru Usman will answer this question with his actions come February 13.

Do you believe Kamaru Usman will initiate grappling exchanges with 2nd-degree jiu-jitsu black belt Gilbert Burns at UFC 258?

This article first appeared on MMANews.com on January 26, 2021

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