Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has reacted to Kamaru Usman's massive third-round knockout victory over Gilbert Burns in the main event of UFC 258.
Holloway acknowledged that the welterweight champion brought his A-game to the fight and claimed that Usman has earned his respect with the incredible performance. The MMA community wanted to know if Burns would be the man who'd finally bring Usman's domination inside the octagon to an end.
However, it turned out that Usman truly is the 'Nigerian Nightmare' who smashed Burns' dream of becoming champion.
Kamaru Usman shows Gilbert Burns why he is the king of welterweights
There was no customary touching of gloves between the ex-teammates before the fight and the tension in the air was palpable. Kamaru Usman as well as the viewers were in for an early surprise as Burns connected with a devastating right hook that rocked the champ.
Usman got clipped right behind the ear and was down on one knee before managing to foil a flying knee attempt by Burns and transitioning into a takedown. Although Usman was ahead in terms of the total number of strikes at the end of the first round, Burns had clearly drawn first blood.
It was in the second round that the champ truly started going to work. Usman used his five-inch reach advantage well, staying out of range and stinging Burns with hard jabs connecting flush on the chin. Usman had Burns clearly reeling from the jabs as he scored two knockdowns in the second round with a simple one-two combination.
Burns was quickly fading and Usman realized that. The champion put his foot on the gas early in the round and managed to connect flush on the chin with a hard right-hand shot that sent Burns crashing down on the canvas.
Kamaru Usman followed it up with some vicious ground and pound before Herb Dean stepped in to save Burns from further damage.