Kamaru Usman successfully defended his UFC welterweight title against former teammate Gilbert Burns via third-round TKO at UFC 258 (February 2021).
In an interview with Helen Yee Sports, upon being asked what he’d approach differently in a potential rematch against Usman, Burns stated.
“Yes, a lot of things can be different. I think I started very good, put a lot of pressure. And I think he was able to adjust. It was when he adjust – to be honest, I can be pretty clear – I thought I’m gonna rush and put a lot of pressure in the beginning; I’ll make him very uncomfortable. And I thought he was gonna grapple me, you know. And I was even ready to, with my back on the floor, work a lot of submissions. But he was able to handle that pressure, you know. And then, start using his jabs and a lot of things. And I saw a lot of mistakes that I did. And for sure, next time will be a lot different. I saw a lot of little mistakes, even mentally mistakes, you know, to don’t be able to adjust, not only technically but like mentally. It was a very busy week too and then, now, I’ve kind of been there, I saw all of it. There’s nothing new, and I think I will approach it way better.” (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
The aftermath of UFC 258 has witnessed Gilbert Burns consistently lobby for a rematch. Regardless, the belief is that it’s unlikely to transpire in the immediate future.
Gilbert Burns’ road to avenge his loss and win UFC gold
Kamaru Usman is set to put his UFC welterweight title on the line in a rematch against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 (April 24, 2021). Usman had previously defeated Masvidal via unanimous decision at UFC 251 (July 2020) in a fight that the latter had accepted on just six days’ notice.
Meanwhile, the consensus is that in order to rematch Usman, Burns would have to return to the win column and put together a win streak, perhaps besting two or three top-tier welterweight foes.
Furthermore, Gilbert Burns’ road to the rematch and the UFC welterweight title – assuming that Usman is still the champion after UFC 261 – now has a new roadblock by the moniker Wonderboy.
Should Gilbert Burns defeat Wonderboy, he’d receive another marquee matchup. A couple of high-profile wins could earn Burns a rematch against Usman and another shot at UFC gold as well.