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Gilbert Burns would ‘love’ opportunity to fight Ben Askren

Gilbert Burns would ‘love’ opportunity to fight Ben Askren

Gilbert Burns makes his walk to the UFC octagon

UFC lightweight and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Gilbert Burns, is not a big fan of popular new UFC welterweight, Ben Askren.

Askren (19-0, 1 NC) recently made his promotional debut with the UFC, facing Burns’ teammate, Robbie Lawler, at UFC 235.

After getting slammed and facing an onslaught of ground and pound strikes courtesy of the former welterweight champion, Askren was able to survive and secure a bulldog choke variant.

Lawler’s arm appeared to go limp, but a further review of the finish revealed that Lawler had, in fact, issued a ‘thumbs-up’ to referee Herb Dean during the application of the choke.

Lawler has garnered significant praise following the defeat, as many applauded his ability to stay calm and collected, forgiving Dean shortly after the fight, in the wake of such a momentous, controversial stoppage.

Askren has likewise received praise, with many believing that the win over Lawler cements his status as a world-class welterweight.

Burns, like many, believes a rematch is in order.

I don’t even have a lot to say, I just want to see a rematch. I think that was just a little appetizer; we didn’t get to see Ben Askren’s potential. I think Rob Lawler was beating him up the way [Burns and his teammates] saw in training – the way we kind of project (sic) – he was beating him up, and they have to stop the fight. That was a mistake.”

I just think that fight wasn’t done yet.”

Given that Lawler and Burns are teammates, it makes sense that Burns would feel strongly about the outcome of this point. Burns took to Twitter to share his thoughts, issuing two tweets that received plenty of engagement.

Burns told The Body Lock Askren is getting ahead of himself.

“Come on, bro, you just got here now you wanna already call the number three, number one [ranked contenders]? No. Come on, get the decent win, first. I know it wasn’t his fault, it was the referee’s fault, but come on, do a rematch.”

In this tweet, which has over 260 retweets and over 2,500 ‘likes’, Burns poked fun at Askren’s appearance, while also downplaying his win over Lawler.

However, despite the trash-talk from Burns’ Twitter, he says he recognizes Askren’s talent.

I know how good Ben Askren is. I know he’s [as] tough as it comes. I like to talk shit; I like to play with this guy, you know?” Burns laughs, “He’s a little chubby, all that (expletive), but don’t get me wrong: when he gets to a fight, the guy’s a beast so, you know, I know his grappling level. I know he’s a very high-level grappler; a crazy wrestler.”

Still, even though he respects Askren’s skills, Burns would enjoy facing the former Olympian in combat, whether in the cage or on the mat.

I would like to fight Ben Askren: MMA fight, grappling fight, combat grappling. I would like to compete against him; to face him, and I think it would be a great match. For sure, I would like to face Ben Askren, especially if the UFC does that 165 [pound] division. I know he’s not big 170[er]. Like I said, he’s a little chubby. But, I would like to face Ben Askren: any type of match or fight.”

Perhaps, Burns says, he’ll face Askren under combat jiu-jitsu rules in Titan FC, should he defeat UFC veteran Gleison Tibau, whom he faces on next Friday, March 15.

“That might be. That might be a good opponent,” Burns said. “For sure Ben Askren’s on that conversation, too. I would love to. I would love to compete with this guy.”

Burns, 32, is a decorated jiu-jitsu black belt.

In addition to being a two-time IBJJF World champion, Burns is a UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro and CBJJ Brazilian national champion, too.

Burns holds grappling victories over Gregor Gracie, Bellator’s AJ Agazarm, Leandro Lo, recent UFC debutant, Kron Gracie; ADCC champion, JT Torres; and many others.

A combat jiu-jitsu match with Askren, 34, would likely be the most high-profile match to take place under the ruleset, which permits open-handed strikes once one or both of the competitors are on the ground.

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