Reactions to Kamaru Usman battling back and finishing Gilbert Burns.
Despite some early trouble, getting rocked by Gilbert Burns, Kamaru Usman battled back and scored a third-round TKO of his former teammate to retain the UFC welterweight championship in the main event of UFC 258.
Usman, the winner of season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter, entered this match with no losses in the Octagon and a massive 16-fight win streak. He captured the UFC welterweight gold at UFC 235 by dominating Tyron Woodley before retaining the title against Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal at UFC 245 and UFC 251, respectively.
Burns, meanwhile, came in with a six-fight win streak and a 4-0 record since moving up to welterweight in 2019. After decision wins over Alexey Kunchenko and Gunnar Nelson in a two-month span that year, Burns made his case for a title shot with a first-round finish of Demian Maia and his own one-sided victory over Woodley.
Usman and Burns were scheduled to face off at UFC 251 originally, but Burns was forced out of that fight due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Fellow UFC fighters share their instant thoughts on Kamaru Usman’s win
The fight was a battle of blows from the beginning, as Burns rocked Usman very early on, but Usman recovered. Burns tried to get the fight to the ground, but Usman continuously kicked at Burns’ legs until he was forced to stand. The two traded big blows late in the round until the horn sounded.
Usman was the one who wobbled Burns in the second, overwhelming the challenger with a barrage of strikes and looking like he’d bring the fight to a close at any point. Burns survived the round, but Usman grounded him and finished him early in the third for his third successful title defense.
See how fellow fighters reacted to Usman retaining:
With the win, Usman now stands alone with the most consecutive wins in UFC welterweight division history with 13, officially breaking the tie he held with former longtime champion Georges St Pierre.