Friday, May 27, 2022

Burns Reveals The Usman Quote That Angered Him Prior To UFC 258

Gilbert Burns has revealed which of reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman‘s pre-fight comments angered him ahead of UFC 258.

In the main event of 2021’s February pay-per-view, Burns rode an unblemished 5-0 record at 170 pounds and wins over Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia into his first title shot in MMA’s premier promotion.

In his way of championship glory was Usman, a former teammate of the Brazilian at the now-defunct Blackzilians gym and renowned Sanford MMA facility. Despite finding early success against “The Nigerian Nightmare,” Burns was finished in the second round after falling victim to the titleholder’s newly-developed striking game.

But while the pair showed respect for each other at the conclusion of the contest and have been on good terms since, occasionally even training together again, animosity and bad blood certainly existed prior to their meeting inside the cage, more so than is usually expected with “Durinho.”

Burns: Usman Made Me Very Emotional

During a recent sit-down interview with Morning Kombat’s Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell, Burns was asked what went wrong when he stood opposite Usman in the UFC 258 headliner.

For Burns, the major mistake was the emotion he carried into the contest, which he says largely stemmed from one particular remark from his rival.

“I was very emotional going into the fight, to be honest. That was the first mistake. I didn’t know how I was going to feel about it,” admitted Burns. “He said something on the pre-fight that got to my head a little bit, and then I was so mad that he got to my head. He said something like—I think Brett Okamoto asked him, ‘Hey, so you guys trained together so many times, so the coaches saw that training, the training partners saw that training, they know who’s going to win?’ And then he say, ‘Yeah, for sure they know who’s going to win.’

“Then I was like, ‘Oh, you’ll see who’s going to win.’ And that, at the beginning, put a fire on me that I thought was good. But it wasn’t good. That motivation came from anger, came from another place,” continued Burns. “A lot of people say anger is good, yeah, it’s good when you control it. But whenever the fight started, I wanted to get to him, you know? … The anger just took over a little bit. I realized I was out of control.”

While Burns went on to confirm the pair get on well now, should “Durinho” emerge victorious when he faces Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273 this weekend, he may well set up another collision course with the welterweight king down the line.

Maybe that will lead to some old wounds being re-opened…

Do you think emotion played a part in Gilbert Burns’ 2021 loss to welterweight champ Kamaru Usman?

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