Gilbert Burns has his third assignment this year against Belal Muhammad as UFC 288 card just got better.
UFC President Dana White announced on Thursday that Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns have agreed to fight in a 5-round welterweight bout which is set to be the co-main event of UFC 288. The announcement came during a live streaming from Dana White across UFC’s social media platforms.
A high-ranked lightweight clash between Charles Oliveira and Beniel Dariush was earlier set to be the co-main event of UFC 288. However, Oliveira’s injury has pushed the bout to UFC 289 now. Suddenly, UFC 288 card was looking weak with this change and it got a negative reaction online. Dana White teased last week that they are working on adding a big fight to the card.
On Wednesday, Paulo Costa and Jan Blanchowicz were going back and forth on Twitter over a prospective fight in the co-main event spot. UFC was working on a couple of more fights to finalize for the same spot, but it seems that Burns vs Muhammad was agreed before the others.
The match-up is also surprising due to the fact that Gilbert Burns just fought two weeks back in UFC 287 co-main event where he defeated Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision. Burns defeated Neil Magny via submission in the first round at UFC 283 in January this year.
Belal Muhammad rides a 9-fights unbeaten streak and has wins over Sean Brady and Vincente Luque in 2022. The streak, which includes a No-Contest against reigning champion Leon Edwards, has seen Muhammad rise to #4 in UFC Welterweight Rankings. Burns is ranked at #5 in the same rankings.
Former two-division champion Henry Cejudo returns to challenge UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling in the main event of UFC 288. Keep tuned in for the latest updates on the event.