UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his belt on Saturday night against Gilbert Burns, his ex-training partner, and ensures that even the Brazilian knows he won’t win this fight.
Six months after his victorious belt defense against Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman is back in the cage on Saturday for UFC 258, to be watched live on RMC Sport 1. The Nigerian will defend his welterweight belt against an old acquaintance: Gilbert Burns, an ex-training partner.
The two men evolved together under the orders of Henri Hooft, their Dutch kickboxing coach. But for Usman, no way to imagine that this could give Burns an advantage.
Third belt defense for Usman
“We have not trained a lot together in recent years, qualified the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’. It will be difficult, he will come in very hard (in the fight) and I will go there giving everything as always. […] But we both know what’s going to happen. “
For his third belt defense, after two unanimous decision wins over Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal, Usman is confident to dominate Burns, who remains on an impressive win over former champion Tyron Woodley.
“He worked hard. He really got down to work over the last 18 months,” admitted the Nigerian, an excellent wrestler and more and more comfortable in boxing. Former world champion in jiu-jitsu, Burns has also progressed in boxing and notably knocked out his compatriot Demian Maia last March.
“A lot of people write that this fight is going to be between friends and teammates. But in the end, I don’t see it that way, there is no friendship here,” Usman also said, as quoted by MMA Junkie.
The Nigerian should have faced Burns as early as UFC 251 but the Brazilian’s positive Covid-19 test deprived him of the fight and the UFC called up Jorge Masvidal as a last-minute replacement.
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