Five UFC Fighters Who Made Lemonade Out of Lemons in 2020

Gilbert Burns UFC Fort Lauderdale
Credit: Gleidson Venga/

4. Gilbert Burns

The first event affected by the pandemic came in March at UFC Brasilia where in the span of several days things went from business as usual to an unreal new normal of an event being held in a full sized arena without fans.  While the headliners that night were Charles Oliveira and Kevin Lee, Gilbert Burns had a breakout performance with a first round knockout over Demian Maia.

The following week, the first cancelled event of the pandemic was a card set to be headlined by former champion Tyron Woodley against Leon Edwards.  Travel restrictions prevented Edwards from making his way to the United States, and Burns was given the call to face Woodley in May.  The Brazilian contender took full advantage, throttling Woodley for five rounds and leaping into title contention.  Come July, several factors led to Burns being given a shot at the welterweight title against Kamaru Usman.  Though a positive COVID-19 test prevented him from making it to the bout, his willingness to step up for the promotion was rewarded as he was scheduled to fight Usman in December (cancelled) and is still expected to be the next title challenger in 2021.