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Tuesday, Feb 02, 2021

Stephen Thompson: Gilbert Burns Will be Kamaru Usman’s “Toughest Fight”

Gilbert Burns (photo via UFC / YouTube)

By FCF Staff

Kamaru Usman has faced and defeated several, highly regarded welterweights to date. But, Stephen Thompson believes Gilbert Burns will be the champion’s toughest fight yet.

Burns has been booked to fight Usman at UFC 258 on Februarys 13th, after winning six straight. In Burns’ last bout, which took place in May, he outscored former champ Tyron Woodley for the decision win.

Recently Thompsons appeared on the Weighing In podcast, and while discussing the Usman (17-1) – Burns (19-3) fight, he said this (quotes via MMA Junkie.com).

“I think this is going to be Kamaru Usman’s toughest fight for sure,” Thompson said. “I mean (Burns has) got the ground, he’s a high-level jiu-jitsu practitioner, he’s got good striking, he’s been knocking dudes out. So I think he’s the better well-rounded fighter he’s faced, even Colby Covington. But Usman, on top of that, he’s an intelligent fighter. He’s got pressure and cardio for days. He’s got a gas tank like no other, but I do believe he can outwrestle Burns.

“I think he could wrestle him and neutralize his jiu-jitsu. His top game is really, really good, especially up against the fence. If he can get him pinned up against the fence where he’s able to control his opponent’s hips, I think he’s got it. But the thing is, getting in there. Burns’ striking is fast. That dude’s explosive. He may not have the reach Kamaru does, but he’s explosive and you saw it against Tyron Woodley. He knocked him down, something I wasn’t able to do.”

Usman, meanwhile, is coming off a decision win over Jorge Masvidal in July. In his bout prior to that, in December, 2019, Usman stopped Colby Covington.

posted by FCF Staff @ 7:00 am
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