"Did you like what you saw against Woodley? Well, you can't even imagine what I'm going to look like for this fight. Faster, stronger, in good shape, and better jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and punching techniques. I can't wait," said Gilbert Burns.
on the eve of UFC 258 and fighting Kamaru Usman. The elite Brazilian fighter, as well as the current champion, believes that they have a difficult match ahead of them. Of course, one of the most important factors before this duel is the fact that Burns and Usman improved their skills when they trained together a year ago.
The UFC’s first welterweight challenger is aware of that. "I know a lot about him, but he also knows a lot about me. I'm still a little weird about this. I still like Kamara very much and I have a lot of respect for him.
It's going to be a demanding competition and a tough day." "I don't know is it good or bad that I know him so much. When I think about tactics I take into account everything I know about him, but, again, he also knows a lot about me so it's hard to say whether it's useful or not."
"But I would still say that it benefits me because at least I know how ready I have to be, ”Burns said in an interview with MMA Fighting.
Burns on their sparring
‘Durinho’ and Usman went through everything and anything.
They have known each other for years, and for the first time, they paired together as members of the once-powerful Blackzilians team. "It was hard and it was crazy," Burns recalled of the sparring, and continued, "We sparred there for two, maybe three years, and then we moved to the Combat Club.
And there the crazy sparring continued. Then we went to Hard Knocks." and then to Sanford. We worked together for eight years. " In the meantime, Usman became the champion, and Burns broke through to the position of the first challenger.
Their meeting at one point became inevitable, and possible divisions in the team were prevented when Kamaru decided to move and prepare for this match in Colorado with the famous coach Trevor Wittman. In the same conversation with MMA Fighting, Burns also touched on their martial arts styles and concluded that there is one big difference between him and Usman.
"I always go for a break, and if that doesn't work for me, then I look for dominance. And that's the difference between the two of us." "Kamara wants to dominate you first, get you in a difficult situation, get tired, and then beat you up.
And I want to finish you, beat you, knock out or force surrender. If I can't and if I think you'll hold out, then I'm just thinking about domination, "Burns said.