The UFC 288 co-main event between Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad just got a lot more interesting as Dana White announced that the winner of the fight will be getting a title shot.
“Burns vs. Muhammad is now an official title eliminator,” White said. “The winner will get a title shot.”
Both fighters are coming off of impressive victories, with Burns defeating former lightweight champion Demian Maia at UFC Brasilia earlier this year in February and Muhammad winning his last five fights in a row—his most recent being last August against Lyman Good at UFC 242. With such dominant performances in their previous fights, this bout between them seems like it could have main event potential so having an additional incentive to win is sure to increase stakes and anticipation even further for fans of both fighters.
Both men have previously competed for championship gold but came up short on their respective efforts. For Burns, he lost to Kamaru Usman via unanimous decision back in 2019 while fighting for the welterweight belt while Muhammad fell just short against then bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw via split decision back in 2016 after putting on what many consider one of the greatest bantamweight fights ever seen inside of the Octagon®️ . Now however, both men find themselves within reach yet again of slinging championship gold around their waistlines with each hoping they can make amends from past losses and reach new heights when they face each other at UFC 288 on May 15th .
White added: “These guys should put together an incredible fight [and] I think that whoever wins deserves to fight for the belt next.” He continued: “It’s been awhile since we’ve seen these two great athletes compete separately let alone face each other , so when you add that plus what’s now been made clear as far as who gets what if they come out victorious — well I don’t think anyone would deny how much tension there’ll be going into this fight given all its implications .”
For both men involved , victory means everything here not only because it means continued career growth but also simply due to everyone wanting redemption or validation against past opponents — something which has eluded either man thus far over their storied careers . As such , expect fireworks galore when these two meet inside The Octagon®️ later this year !
“Burns should get it for sure
Belal isn’t even close”
“How can you say that? Belal is clearly the better fighter!”
“What do you know? You don’t even watch UFC events!”
“I know enough to tell you that Burns has more experience and a better record”
“That doesn’t mean he deserves a title shot! He hasn’t faced anyone at the top level yet”
“Well, Belal hasn’t either. So why are we arguing?”
“Because I think White should give Burns the chance. He’s earned it”
“No way! Belal is much more deserving of this opportunity.”
“You can argue all day but in the end White will make his own decision.”