Kamaru Usman finishes Gilbert Burns to retain title in intense back-and-forth war.
The highly anticipated bout between reigning champion, Kamaru Usman, and his friend and training partner, Gilbert Burns finally happened and oh man did it deliver every ouch of fire it promised.
“This one was a tough one,” Usman said during his post-fight interview in regards to having to fight a teammate and friend.
No glove tap to start the fight and the first seconds even before the fight started was electric. It was non-stop pressure from bell to bell. Burns hurt Usman and nearly dropped him in the first moments of the round but he recovered, somehow. If there had been a crowd, it would have been loud in there. Burns went to the ground but Usman stayed on his feet and they traded kicks before Burns was able to get to his feet. They traded bombs again and the tension was high, it smelled like a KO was coming any second. No finish was found in round and they laughed and touched gloves to end the first round.
Back to the action in the second and all eyes were on how the champion would adjust. Burns landed powerful shots to Usman. Then the tides turned. Usman landed huge shots and completely took control landing a series of strikes that had Burns wobbling. Burns went to the ground briefly but was back on his feet with a minute left in the round. They traded shots to end the round making them 1-1, on my scorecard.
Third round began with Burns looking tired and right to the mat he went. Usman pounced and finished Burns in just seconds.
My oh my, what an incredible fight.
Burns was spotted sobbing after the fight, Usman paid his respects.
With this win, Usman breaks Georges St-Pierre’s record for most wins in a row at welterweight (13) and he ties Khabib Nurmagomedov for second-most wins in a row to start a UFC career.
Usman and Burns were supposed to fight twice before but due to various issues, the fight was rescheduled. The former teammates trained apart for this fight camp, with Usman leaving American Top Team in Florida for Coloroda training with former title interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje.