Mark RaimondiESPN staff writer2 minutes to read
UFC President Dana White went on to announce the fight Thursday night, making several big official tours to come including a pair of pay-per-view co-main events.
White said on UFC social media that Gilbert Burns and Bilal Muhammad will meet in a short notice welterweight title fight that will serve as the co-headlining of UFC 288 on May 6 in Newark, New Jersey. The competition will be held for five rounds. The winner will put himself in a strong position for the next fight for the UFC welterweight title.
The original co-main event at UFC 288 was former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira with Benil Dariusz. That fight was postponed due to a minor injury to Oliveira. It will now take place at UFC 289 on June 10 in Vancouver. The Oliveira vs. Dariush winner will also put himself on the inside track for a lead shot, in this case in the lightweight division.
ESPN ranked Burns the No. 4 welterweight and Muhammad the No. 5 welterweight in the world. Oliveira is ranked No. 2 and Dariusz No. 3 in the world at lightweight.
Burns (22-5) fought back earlier this month, defeating Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision at UFC 287 on April 8 in Miami. Muhammad (22-3, 1 BC) was undefeated in nine consecutive battles.
Oliveira (33-9, 1 NC) had an 11-win streak snapped in a lightweight title loss to Islam Makhachev last October at UFC 280. Dariush (22-4-1) has won eight straight fights.
White also announced four other upcoming UFC Fight Night main events. Jack Hermanson will take on Brendan Allen in a middleweight bout on June 3, Marvin Vettori will take on Jared Cannonier in a middleweight contender on June 17, Josh Emmett takes on rookie prospect Elijah Topuria in a tag team featherweight fight on June 24, and Sean Clashes Strickland with Abus Magomedov on July 1 in another middleweight fight.
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