Kamaru Usman suffered some early adversity against the fast-starting Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258 tonight, but showed the heart of a champion to hurt his former training partner in the second round and then finish him by TKO early in the third.
The main event welterweight title fight is underway in Las Vegas after an intense staredown.
Burns fires off a quick punch to start but it misses. Body kick does land though and then one to the leg.
Another body kick for Burns. Huge right hook for Burns and Usman has a hand down on the mat looking dazed for a moment. Burns throwing more big punches.
Head kick attempt from Burns and it’s partially blocked and Usman is able to throw him off-balance to the mat. Despite his wrestling ability Usman opts not to go to the mat with him though, instead keeping on his feet and opting for a few kicks to his still grounded opponent instead.
The referee letting the action continue like this as Usman continues to land a few kicks and the occasional body punch. Another body punch and now Burns is trying to get back up. Again Usman lands and then Burns does manage to get up.
They exchange at close range and Usman tries to get into the clinch. Burns gets away to striking range. Jab for Usman. Low leg kick for the champion.
Inside leg kick for Burns. Front kick to the body from Usman. Knee attempt from Burns and Usman caught that, but doesn’t manufacture a takedown from it.
Burns lands a right hand. Jab for Usman. Jab for Burns. More quick punches from him. Jab for Usman. Another lands. Head kick attempt from Burns doesn’t land. Burns attempting a takedown, but nothing doing. Burns with a head kick attempt.
Jab again for Usman. Big right hand lands for Burns and more punches behind it. Usman with a jab. Knee for Burns. Great first round and Burns looks very dangerous.
Jab for Burns. More punches comes up short. Jab for Usman. He lands it again. Leg kick for Burns. Usman firmly focused on the jab and it’s been effective for him. Leg kicks exchanged.
Left hook for Burns. Now a right hand. Body kick lands, but Usman fires back a grazing uppercut. Kicks for Burns.
Usman with a left hand, but the overhand right from Burns caught him clean on the counter. Jab from Usman, low kick for Burns. Hard jab from the champ.
Big right hgand for Usman and Burns is wobbled and staggers. More punches. A right hook and a left. Burns in trouble, but rushes into a clinch attempt that doesn’t pay off.
Right hand from Usman and then the jabs. A left and a right connect. Burns struggling. The jab again. Once again it lands. Burns moving on the outside trying to but himself some time. he lands a low leg kick.
Body punch from Usman now. Three jabs for the champ. Leg kick from Burns, but gets caught by a jab that knocks Burns off-balance to the mat.
Usman tells Burns to get up. Low leg kick for Burns. Jab for Usman. Left hook for Burns and Usman connected too.
Jab for Burns. Usman lands his too. Solid outside leg kick for Usman. Jab for him and Burns clinches up, but is shrugged back off again. Leg kick for Burns as the round ends. Big round for Usman as the fight ebbs and flows in the first ten minutes of this championship battle.
Body punch for Burns. Low leg kick. Hard jab drops Burns to the mat. He lands a huge right hand to the grounded challenger. The ref looks ready to jump in at any moment as Usman rains down more punches and hammerfists that’s it, Usman defeats Burns impressively by TKO at 0.34mins of the third round to retain his title.