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Morning Report: Gilbert Burns questions legitimacy of Colby Covington foot injury, if fight is ‘still relevant’

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Gilbert Burns isn’t sold on Colby Covington claiming injury in his last fight.

Covington, 35, returned to the media light this week with an appearance to share an X-ray of what he claimed to be a fracture in his left foot. The injury happened as a result of the first kick thrown in his recent title tilt against UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, according to Covington. The one-time interim titleholder lost the bout via a lopsided unanimous decision, which was arguably his worst performance to date.

Due to the injury, Covington said it hampered his ability and thought process to fight in his typical high-volume pressure wrestling style. Edwards defended the wrestling exchanges consistently throughout when they were applied and struck his way to the victory. Covington’s fellow Miami, Fla. resident and welterweight contender Burns, however, says he saw Covington continuing life as usual after the December loss.

“I don’t think he — he was going everywhere here,” Burns told The AllStar. “I saw him walking everywhere. The X-ray, I don’t see his name on the X-ray. I don’t know. Then we saw him walk everywhere in Miami, playing poker, going everywhere. I didn’t see no cast, I didn’t see anything. So, I don’t know.

“It’s very hard to believe anything Colby says. You don’t know when it’s true, he’s a character. I just think a lot of guys said he didn’t show up [in the fight]. I think he did show up, but I think Leon just shut him down and I think Leon is — people don’t give him a lot of credit, but I think he’s very, very good. He just shut the guy down.”

A summer return is in the mind of Covington next and when pondering his next possible opponent, Burns was a name he mentioned should “Durinho” get past Jack Della Maddalena at UFC 299 next month. Ultimately, the matchup is one Burns has long wanted, but after seeing how Covington did against the champion Edwards, he’s not sure it’s even worth it.

“I saw a couple things, saying that he might fight Ian Garry or me,” Burns said. “Is that fight still relevant? Like, the way that guy showed up, two years without fighting. I don’t know. I’m not even thinking of this guy. I called this guy out so many times. He had so many opportunities to fight me. Now my focus is on Jack. After Jack, we’ll see, but I’m not passing through Jack. This guy’s gonna be very hungry.

“I don’t know. I just think Edwards shut down Covington real bad and I think he’s done. Whenever after the fight he called for [Stephen] ‘Wonderboy’ [Thompson] and ‘Wonderboy’ just lost, too. It’s like, that guy is done. He’ll never fight for the title again. So, why fight him?”

Burns, 37, has performed well since his first UFC title shot against Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 in February 2021. Unfortunately for him, he lost the bout via a second-round TKO but has gone 3-2 (22-6 overall) afterward with dominant wins over Thompson, Neil Magny, and Jorge Masvidal.

Despite Burns’ loss to Belal Muhammad via unanimous decision at UFC 288 last May in his most recent fight, Edwards’s coach Dave Lovell still highlighted him as a viable title challenger after the Covington win. Although it likely won’t happen with Burns lined up to face Della Maddalena, he believes it just shows his caliber within the 170-pound ranks.

“I like it,” Burns said. “I know I’m super close to get to a title shot. I think it’s gonna happen. I still got a lot in me. That’s the thing that I go to sleep thinking about. I wake up thinking about it and I put a lot of energy into my training because of that.

“I think it kind of tells my value and I like it. A lot of guys don’t like it, I think. I think I’m one or two wins away from a title shot so I gotta pass Jack first.”


Scenes. Benoit Saint Denis shares his side of Dustin Poirier fight announcement drama

Ridiculous. Dana White: Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler hopefully happens in ‘the fall’ of 2024

Future. Dricus du Plessis gives update on UFC 300 availability, believes Israel Adesanya is ‘probably’ next

Assessment. Sean O’Malley coach: Chito Vera hasn’t improved much since first fight, won’t be confident at UFC 299

Hypothetical. Tom Aspinall still open to fight Alex Pereira at UFC 300, but ‘I’ve heard nothing so far’

Hindsight. Alexander Volkanovski regrets ‘drinking every day for 3 or 4 weeks’ before UFC offered Islam Makhachev rematch

Aid. Max Holloway helps open new Boys and Girls Club in Hawaii

Boxing. Tyson Fury vows to rematch Francis Ngannou in future, dismisses retirement talk

Fantasy. Sean O’Malley wants to ‘put the lights out’ on ‘dangerous’ Ilia Topuria

Options. Kevin Lee names Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler as possible return opponents


The MMA Hour.

Enter Adesanya.

CCC on UFC 298.

An Almighty preview.

Fancy forearm crusher.


No Bets Barred. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew and Conner Burks discuss if Joe Pyfer can make the leap to contention at UFC Vegas 86.


It’s not yet Saturday night, but let’s pretend.


Secrets.

Collection.

Alright then.

Oh boy… Would be smart…

What a troll.

How about that?


José Johnson (16-8) vs. Lucas Rocha (17-1); UFC Vegas 90, April 6

Dione Barbosa (6-2) vs. Ernesta Kareckaite (5-0-1); UFC 301, May 4


Real or not, it happened in the fight so Covington’s excuses remain invalid. Read the room, fella. The character no longer works (if it ever did).

Thanks for reading!


Poll

Do you believe Colby Covington’s injury claims?


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