Two former UFC welterweight title challengers will collide in July.
First reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, No. 2 ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns will fight No. 5 ranked Stephen Thompson at UFC 264 on July 10, which Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will headline. Verbal agreements are in place for the fight, the report noted. Both fighters have since confirmed the news on social media.
Burns (19-4) is coming off his first title fight against champion Karamu Usman at UFC 258. He lost the fight via TKO in the third round. That loss snapped his six-fight win streak that included victories over former champion Tyron Woodley and two-time title challenger Demian Maia. With a win, the Brazilan will be on his way back to the title.
Thompson (16-4-1) will finally get a highly ranked opponent, which had avoided him for several years. “Wonderboy” is riding a two-fight win streak and is coming off a dominant unanimous decision over Geoff Neal on the last UFC fight card of 2020. Before his win over Neal, he defeated Vicente Luque at UFC 244 in 2019. A win over Burns could very well warrant Thompson a third title shot.
No location, venue, or broadcast plan has been reported for the UFC 264.
As of now, the only other fights reported for this card are:
- Ryan Hall vs. Ilia Tourpia
- Gilbert Burns vs. Stephen Thompson
- Jessica Eye vs. Jennifer Maia
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Brad Tavares