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Gilbert Burns supports UFC's plans to continue events amid coronavirus outbreak, but wants to see COVID-19 testing

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Gilbert Burns is all for live fights during this global pandemic.

The Brazilian welterweight contender supports Dana White’s plans and efforts to continue the UFC’s fight schedule despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. Burns (17-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) recently defeated Demian Maia at UFC on ESPN+ 28 – the last event UFC hosted before canceling the following three due to the current pandemic. Having watched how the UFC handled the event in Brasilia, Brazil, Burns believes there’s a way to still put on fights in this current climate.

“I support the UFC, Dana White,” Burns said. “I think a lot of fighters will go through a tough time staying prepared and getting ready because a lot of gyms are getting locked down. But yeah, I support the UFC. I saw the way they did it at UFC Brasilia.

“They’re so organized that in three days, they changed the whole thing – no ceremonial weigh-ins, no media day, no media in the arena – so I think they can do it the way they did it (in Brasilia). They know how to run it already, and I know they can make it as safe (as possible) for all the fighters and all the people working. I hope they do because otherwise the UFC is not making money, the arena is not making money, the fighters are not making money, and people need entertainment right now. People are home watching Netflix, but they probably watched the whole thing.”


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Of course, while the UFC took several precautions in Brazil, with health as a primary concern, “Durinho” says testing for COVID-19 is a must – something the promotion didn’t do at UFC Brasilia.

“I think if they’re going to do the fights, they have to have the tests,” Burns explained. “I think that’s a priority even for the whole UFC crew, the cameras, the ESPN staff, the fighters, the corners. I’m 100 percent sure Dana White is going to take care of that and test everybody and make sure everyone is safe. But for sure, that has to be a mandatory thing they do.”


Gilbert Burns def. Gunnar Nelson at UFC on ESPN+ 18: Best photos

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