The upcoming Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 card at UFC 264 is beginning to pick up steam.
According to UFC president Dana White (per ESPN), a welterweight clash between title contenders Gilbert Burns and Stephen Thompson is in the works for the July 10 card. The matchup will certainly be part of the ESPN+ PPV main card, but it is unknown at this time if the welterweight pairing will serve as the co-main event.
Burns, 34, is coming off a disappointing title fight loss to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 earlier this year. The defeat snapped a six-fight win streak for “Durinho” and put a hold on Burns’ meteoric rise in the 170-pound division. Burns will have his hands full with Thompson’s striking, but possesses the one-punch power, wrestling, and submission game to put “Wonderboy” in serious trouble.
Thompson, 38, has been clawing his way back to the top after dropping back-to-back losses to Darren Till and Anthony Pettis from 2018-2019. “Wonderboy” has rebounded nicely to capture wins over rising contenders Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal, but the veteran striker is going to have to do more if he wants to position himself at the top of the division in 2021. It all starts with defeating Burns this July and getting past one of the hardest tests at welterweight.
Nothing has been made official but if “Wonderboy” is able to decisively beat Burns he may be able to lock up another UFC welterweight title shot. Usman is expected to defend his belt next against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 later this month, but nothing has been finalized beyond that point. If Thompson has a great showing against Burns he could easily jump Leon Edwards and Colby Covington in line for the title.
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