Home Lifestyle Health Kamaru Usman Defeats Team Mate, Gilbert Burns By TKO To Retain Welterweight...

Kamaru Usman Defeats Team Mate, Gilbert Burns By TKO To Retain Welterweight Title – UFC

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The Nigerian Nightmare, Kamaru Usman defeated his friend and team mate, Gilbert Burns with technical knock out (TKO) 34 seconds into the third round.

According ESPN report by Marc Raimkndi, both team mates and friends “were full of emotion while embracing in the middle of the Octagon. Burns had blood and tears running down his face. Some of their cornermen behind them were fighting back from crying”.

In ESPN analysis, it says:

“Usman landed a right hand as he was switching stances to floor Burns, then slammed Burns with punches on the ground until referee Herb Dean pulled him off.

“Gilbert is a guy that I’ve known from the start,” Usman said in his postfight interview. “I love him. This one was tough for me to deal with.”

With the victory, Usman picked up his 13th straight win, surpassing legend Georges St-Pierre for the most consecutive wins in UFC welterweight history.

Usman and Burns were teammates in South Florida since 2012, first with the Blackzilians and most recently with Sanford MMA. Usman departed for Colorado to train under coach Trevor Wittman last year after the initial fight with Burns was scheduled for July. But Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and withdrew from that bout. Henri Hooft, the longtime head coach for both Usman and Burns, did not corner either man and said he would not even watch the fight.

“Guys, you cannot discredit what Gilbert Burns has done in this division,” Usman said. “We started together. We started this journey together, and he showed it tonight. He went in there and put it all together.”

The bout had major implications outside of the personal story. Coming in, ESPN had Usman ranked No. 5 in the world in its pound-for-pound MMA rankings. In the welterweight division, ESPN has Usman ranked No. 1 and Burns at No. 5.

Burns rocked Usman twice early with huge right hands. But Usman hung in through a tumultuous first round. He then took over in the second, working a beautiful jab and stymying Burns’ power and explosiveness. Usman’s striking looked better than ever, as he switched stances and landed with power from each one.

In the second round, Usman dropped Burns twice, the second time with a jab. In the third, it was a right hand that resembled a jab that put Burns on his butt before Usman pounced and finished on the ground.

Usman outlanded Burns 83-45 in significant strikes, per UFC Stats.

“I am the best on the planet for a reason,” Usman said in his postfight interview. “Y’all, everybody else, you better put some f—ing respect on my name. … I’m here to stay.”

UFC 258 was held with COVID-19 protocols in place at the UFC Apex, a facility across from the UFC’s Las Vegas corporate campus. It was the promotion’s first domestic pay-per-view card of the year.

Usman (18-1) has been champion since beating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 in March 2019. He has three successful title defenses. The Nigeria native, who grew up in Texas, has never lost in the UFC.

Usman, 33, was coming off a unanimous-decision win over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 last July. Afterward, Usman called out Masvidal, who took that fight on six days notice. Usman said “it’s not done” with Masvidal.

“He keeps running his mouth,” Usman said. “If he’s gonna talk, step in here and see me.”

Burns (19-4) had won six in a row coming in, the most recent a unanimous-decision win over Woodley last May. The Brazil native is 4-1 since moving up to welterweight from lightweight in 2019.

Burns, 34, is a multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion with power in his hands. He was trying to become the first Brazilian to win the UFC welterweight title.

“I’m the varsity guy,” Usman said. “My fight IQ is different. It’s different when you’re in the gym with me. But when you get in here, it’s a different ballgame. I’m a whole ‘nother savage.”

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