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Gilbert Burns believes rapping, acting careers changed Tyron Woodley: ‘The guy used to be a beast’

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Gilbert Burns has his eyes on a former UFC welterweight champion.

The rising contender wants to get his hands on Tyron Woodley (19-4-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC), whether it’s next or at some point in the future. Burns (17-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) has a good feeling he’ll eventually meet Woodley, but he doesn’t think he’ll be fighting the man who once reigned the UFC’s welterweight division.

“The guy used to be a beast, he looked scary, but who’s that guy?” Burns told MMA Junkie. “He doesn’t look like that anymore. Last time we saw him in the octagon, he didn’t look like that. He looks bad. Even his corner was like, ‘Bite that mouthpiece and move forward,’ and he was still waiting for Usman; he was just broke.

“And that’s Tyron Woodley right now. He has so much distraction in his life right now with TMZ, rapping, acting, the whole thing. I think he’s just surrounded himself with egos and famous people. He’s changed, I believe he’s not the same anymore.

Burns and Woodley were briefly linked to fight a couple of weeks ago after the U.K.’s Leon Edwards was forced to withdraw from the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 29 due to a U.S. travel ban on Europe in measures to try and contain the coronavirus outbreak.

UFC on ESPN+ 29 was originally supposed to take place in London, but government restrictions on large gatherings made it impossible for the event to happen. The UFC tried to move the event to the U.S. and find a new opponent for Woodley, but logistics and similar public orders on public gatherings prevented the card from happening.

Burns says he lost respect for Woodley in that situation, and he claims Woodley lied about accepting the short-notice fight with him. “Durinho” hopes the UFC tries to re-book them again.

“That’s who I want next, but probably he’s going to keep doing what he’s doing and keep ducking me,” Burns said. “That’s why I love Kamaru (Usman) and I have all the respect for him because he earned his position fighting.

“So if that guy don’t want to fight me, I’m available, I’m going to keep fighting. If (Michael) Chiesa is next, then Chiesa is next. If ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is next, then he’s next. I’m going to keep beating these guys until I get to him. But I don’t know, I just have a feeling I’m fighting Tyron Woodley this year. I think he might fight Leon Edwards again or fight Colby (Covington), that’s the fight that he wants, but I’m going to campaign for it so hard. That’s who I want next. I believe he’ll fight Leon Edwards or Colby and I believe both of these guys can beat Tyron Woodley. Tyron Woodley is almost 38, 39, if I’m not wrong. His whole ego has grown so much I can see right now the way he talks. He’s mixing the ego with confidence just being a rapper. I think he’s done, if he fights Leon Edwards or Colby, he’s going to lose, then I want him after my next fight.”

Burns is currently ranked sixth in the UFC’s official rankings, and he’s 3-0 since moving back up to welterweight. The Brazilian most recently stopped Demian Maia in the co-main event of UFC Brasilia – the last event the UFC held as the current global pandemic began its widespread impact.

Burns believes two more wins could get him in the title contention discussion.

“I believe I’m one or two fights (away),” Burns explained. “Today is hard because we don’t control the rankings and the rankings don’t work all the way. But I think the performance says a lot.”

Check out more from Burns in the video above.

 

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