Long-time UFC welterweight contender Rafael dos Anjos has made his prediction for the upcoming welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns.
Usman, the UFC welterweight champion, holds a decision win over dos Anjos. He’s scheduled to defend his title against dos Anjos’ friend and countryman, Burns, in the main event of UFC 251 on July 11.
Dos Anjos, who previously held the UFC lightweight title, believes his long-time friend Burns will dethrone the champion at UFC 251.
“I’ve known Gilbert since like first grade,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “I was his older brother’s best friend. We were in like second grade, and Gilbert was in first grade. I’ve known Gilbert for so many years him and his brothers, and he’s a great guy. I like him a lot.
“I think he’s very motivated,” dos Anjos said of Burns. “One thing I can be sure: He’s motivated. I think since he and Kamaru, they trained a lot together in the past, I think he has a big chance. I’ll put my money on Gilbert, because I feel like he’s on his time, and he feels like he got a chance for the title, and I’m sure he’s going to go with everything.”
Rafael dos Anjos is currently a tough 1-4 in his last five fights, having sandwiched a win over Kevin Lee between decision losses to Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, Leon Edwards, and Michael Chiesa. Nonetheless, he remains one of the premier players in the welterweight division.
Dos Anjos doesn’t currently have a fight booked, but has been angling for a fight with Conor McGregor, who he was scheduled to fight in 2016, when he was still the lightweight champion.
“The whole history,” dos Anjos told MMA Junkie, explaining why he thinks the time has come for a fight with McGregor. “I was the lightweight champion, he was coming up to challenge me and also, I got a lot of fights. That was the only one that I didn’t make it. That’s what I would like to have on my record, a fight with Conor. That’s why I tweeted out, ‘No more ifs.’ You see a lot of people say, ‘If that fight would’ve happened; If RDA won, If Conor won, what would’ve happened with Conor? If Conor had lost what would’ve happened?’ A lot of ifs. So it’s time to just put that thing on the table and let’s go. Let’s make this fight happen at any weight.”
Kamaru Usman captured the UFC welterweight title with a decision win over Tyron Woodley in early 2019, and subsequently defended it with a thrilling TKO win over Colby Covington last December. Gilbert Burns, meanwhile, has gone 4-0 since moving from lightweight to welterweight, defeating Alexey Kunchenko, Gunnar Nelson, Gilbert Burns, and most recently, the former champ Woodley.
What do you think of the prediction Rafael dos Anjos shared for the fight?