Undisputed welterweight champion Kamaru Usman cemented his place on the prime of the 170-pound division by beating prime contender Gilbert Burns at UFC 258.
Usman, 33, was shocked early by the Brazilian, his former coaching associate.
However the Nigerian recovered beautifully to show the tables on his heavy-handed opponent, 34, and declare a third-round TKO end at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
He has gained all 13 of his UFC fights and surpassed Georges St-Pierre for the longest successful streak at welterweight.
The 2 rivals had been previously team-mates at Florida health club Sanford MMA earlier than Usman left to hitch Elevation Battle Crew in Colorado.
After the consequence was introduced the pair shared an embrace in the midst of the octagon, with Burns in tears and Usman showing to combat off feelings of his personal.
“This one was a tricky one. It was a really, very powerful one, due to the entire health club state of affairs (and) me leaving,” Usman mentioned after his third straight UFC title defence.
“However I’ve mentioned it, man, I am the varsity man. My combat IQ is totally different. It is totally different whenever you’re within the health club with me. However whenever you get in right here, it is totally different ball sport. From begin to end, I am a complete different savage, and he noticed that tonight.
“So, from begin to end there was no buddies in there, no buddies in any respect. I needed to go in there and do what I needed to do, and that is go in and win this title. I’m the very best on the planet for a cause (and) I am right here to remain.”
Usman’s victory ended Burns’ six-fight successful streak, prolonged his personal successful run to 17 consecutive fights and improved his blended martial arts profession file to 18 wins and one loss.
After the combat he referred to as for a rematch with Jorge Masvidal, who he beat at UFC 251, including: “He retains operating his mouth. If he’ll discuss, step in right here and see me.”
Story of the combat
The motion began shortly as Burns pushed the tempo and rocked Usman with a giant proper hand that related simply behind the champion’s left ear.
Burns continued to push ahead looking for a first-round end however Usman recovered beautifully and began to determine the weapon that will ultimately win him the combat – his jab.
Usman continued to work behind his lead left in spherical two and shocked Burns with a giant proper hand of his personal because the momentum swung again within the champion’s favour.
However, relatively than seeking to rush the end, Usman calmly stalked the challenger across the octagon, switching stances and mixing kicks into his mixtures earlier than dropping Burns with a well-timed jab.
That jab proved decisive firstly of spherical three when Usman decked Burns along with his first punch of the spherical then adopted up with a succession of well-placed floor strikes to power referee Herb Dean to step in and wave off the competition simply 34 seconds into the spherical.
Grasso claims spectacular win
Within the night time’s co-main occasion, Mexico’s Alexa Grasso showcased her pinpoint placing as she produced a powerful efficiency to defeat quantity 10-ranked Maycee Barber and announce herself as an rising contender within the UFC girls’s flyweight division.
Barber, 22, returned to the cage following a yr away from the game after tearing her ACL throughout her first profession defeat to Roxanne Modafferi in January 2020.
However Grasso, 27, ensured the American’s return was an unsuccessful one as she outstruck Barber by the primary two rounds then withstood a spirited ultimate spherical from her opponent to say scores of 29-28 on all three scorecards and earn her second consecutive win since shifting up from 115 to 125 kilos.
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