Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Kamaru Usman Unsure If He & Gilbert Burns Will Shake Hands After Fight

Kamaru Usman is unsure about if he and UFC 258 opponent Gilbert Burns will shake hands at the conclusion of their title bout.

UFC 258 will feature a welterweight championship bout between Kamaru Usman and former teammate Gilbert Burns. As two men who were teammates for nearly a full decade, Usman and Burns did not only establish a strong professional relationship but also developed a personal bond. But both men have made it clear during the build-up to this fight that when they step into the Octagon, they will not be looking at a friend when they stare across from them but just another foe standing in the way of their goals.

But of course when the bout is over, the two former teammates will shake hands as a traditional show of sportsmanship, right?

“That depends on him and how they take it,” Usman answered. “I see no face when I step in there so it depends on how they take it. Jorge Masvidal stepped up, he took his loss and he took it like a man and he shook hands and we went about our business. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen again, but it all depends on how they take it.

Image result for Kamaru Usman
UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman

“If [Burns] takes it well, it is what it is, but if he doesn’t, it also it is what it is. I’m walking out there with my hand raised.”

Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns are no longer teammates after Usman decided to exit Sanford MMA after spending three years in the gym. Usman claims that he made the change to receive more individual attention from coaches and also stated that there were other underlying issues at play behind his decision. Perhaps these issues are why Usman is not sure about a standard, customary handshake at the end of the bout. Or perhaps, as supported by his above comments, he knows just how bad a loss would devastate his friend and isn’t sure how he’d handle it.

UFC 258 takes place this Saturday on pay per view from the UFC APEX and will stream exclusively on ESPN+.

What do you think of Kamaru Usman’s uncertainty about shaking hands with Gilbert Burns at UFC 258?

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