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UFC’s Gilbert Burns apologizes to Belal Muhammad: ‘He does deserve the title shot’

UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns takes back what he said about Belal Muhammad not deserving a title shot.

Burns (22-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) told Middle Easy that he wouldn’t be intrigued by former foe Muhammad (23-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) getting the title shot and that he doesn’t deserve it. However, Burns has changed his tune. He admits losing to Muhammad at UFC 288, in a fight where he injured his shoulder early, made him a little bitter.

“I think Belal Muhammad deserves to fight for the title,” Burns said on Renato Moicano’s YouTube channel. “For the numbers, he deserves. The guy has a crazy win streak (of) 10 fights. I think he deserves. To be honest, I just have something that I’m like, the guy beat me.

“I got hurt and then he was talking so much. But I shouldn’t say the way I did. I apologize. I think he does deserves the title shot even though I don’t like the guy very much because I lost to the guy. I was injured, and the guy was kind of like, ‘Oh, I beat Gilbert Burns this way, short notice.’

Despite going unbeaten in his past 10 fights, Muhammad is yet to get his title shot. Burns clarified that while he may not be a fan of Muhammad or his fighting style, that shouldn’t take away from what he’s earned.

“I don’t hate anyone,” Burns said of Muhammad. “I just don’t like him very much because he was saying too much. But I wish the guy the best. I do believe he deserves a title shot. I don’t know if the UFC is going to give him or not because Dana just said, ‘Oh, we ask Leon Edwards three different opponents,’ and the guy is supposed to be the No. 1 contender.

“That way, they don’t give to the guy. But my opinion, I want him to fight for the title. I think he deserves, a lot of hard work. He beat me. He beat (Vicente) Luque. He beat couple good contenders. I think he deserves. He’s not my favorite guy to watch, but he at the end of the day, he’s still getting the win. He does a good job.”

Burns will look to rebound from his loss to Muhammad when he takes on Jack Della Maddalena (16-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 299 (pay-per-view, ESPNews, ESPN+) from Kaseya Center in Miami.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) reacts after defeating Gilbert Burns…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) reacts after defeating Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) reacts after defeating Gilbert Burns…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) reacts after defeating Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 288 - Muhammad vs Burns

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves)…

May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Belal Muhammad (red gloves) fights Gilbert Burns (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

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Belal Muhammad (23-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) def. Gilbert Burns (22-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) via unanimous decision

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie