This upcoming Saturday, February 14, at 10 p.m. EST, current world champion of the Welterweight division, Kamaru Usman is going to defend his title against his old friend, training partner and number one contender, Gilbert Burns. The two fighters currently dominate the UFC Welterweight division both contain long win streaks in such a competitive which always brings a great show to the UFC fans.
The “Nigerian Nightmare” Comes Back Saturday Night
Kamaru Usman is currently favored to win Saturday night as he is currently on a 12-fight win streak, two of which were title defenses against a couple of the most fierce and brutal fighters, Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.
Usman is favored to win in all of the betting pools and stands as the overall number 5 pound-for-pound fighter. Most fans commented under UFC’s post on twitter stating Kamaru Usman will take the win.
War Nigeria Nightmare🇳🇬✊🇺🇸 AKA The Black Panther🦶🦵💪👊 AKA The UFC Welterweight champion🏆 pic.twitter.com/7AV8sGkLPh
— Travis # All Lives Matters✊ (@Machette42) February 10, 2021
Usman by decision. 50-45 or 49-46.
— José Mourinho (@JoseMourinhoTSO) February 10, 2021
Got my money on Usman
— Stormes (@StormesALT) February 10, 2021
Usman statistics speak for themselves, according to the UFC stats page, Usman lands 4.5 significant strikes every minute with a 53% strike accuracy. He is also known for his takedown defense which currently stands at 100% effective with 47% takedown attack accuracy. This fighter also utilizes patience, he takes his time and takes his shots wisely, which allows him to dominate in the octagon.
Gilbert Burns Makes A Name For Himself
As the current standing number one contender of the Welterweight division. Burns has a compelling fight record that currently has a 6-fight win streak and stands at 19 wins and three losses.
His fight record is phenomenal, however, Burns is considered the underdog for this fight because of his fighting style. Compared to his opponent, Burns has an in your face style and takes his shots at any moment with full force and heavy handedness. Note to mention, Burns is very technical with his ground game, he is a phenomenal submission artist and knows how to keep his opponents glued to the floor in uncomfortable positions.
— UFC (@ufc) February 10, 2021
According to UFC stats page, Burns lands 3.15 significant strikes per minute with a 46% striking accuracy and 50% takedown defense rate. He has won most of his fights by KO/TKO or submissions with only a few fights that have gone to decision based wins.
Do The Stats Speak For Themselves?
Many might think that Usman’s stats are arguably better than Burn’s, however, this sport offers a lot of underdog wins and allows others to shine. This is especially apparent with the McGregor loss to Dustin Poirier and Ben Askren’s loss to Jorge Masvidal.
Before Usman won the Welterweight belt from Tyrone Woodley, he was predicted to lose and was considered the under of the fight before he came out and dominated Woodley in all sections of the fight such as ground game and striking, till the very end.
Usman has fought against a smothering offensive fighter before, Jorge Masvidal, who dragged the fight five rounds. Although Usman won the fight, he hasn’t fought against a fighter who can smother him and has the great ground skills that Burns has accumulated during his career.
No doubt that Burns is a talented fighter; However, he sticks to his to his orthodox stance which allows a fighter like Usman, who is a switch stance fighter, to find a way in and confuse his upcoming opponent.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 10, 2021
Usman utilizes his switch stance to allow opening up a free shot on his opponents and to confuse their hand and bodily movements. Once the opponent moves in the direction he wants them to, he switches back to his dominant stance to take his open shot.
Once Training Teammates Now Foes
Usman and Burns both train at Sanford MMA gym in Florida. MMA fans speculated that there might be tension between the two fighters who have helped each other train for other fights. After the fight was booked both fighters had no tension with one another and did not start any beef over social media with one another.
In other instances that have occurred, gyms have had many issues that occurred between training partners who are fighting one another out of the same gym. Luckily, both Burns and Usman are “stand-up guys,” according to Jared Gordon, another fighter in the same gym.
Usman has moved training camps for this fight and will return to Sanford MMA after the fight against his teammate.
These two fighters finally get to put it all on the line on Saturday night, now the world will see if Burns is on Usman’s level or if he still needs some work to beat the current champion.