Gilbert Burns is set to challenge his former teammate Kamaru Usman for the latter’s UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 258 (February 13th, 2021).
On that note, the UFC’s official YouTube channel has uploaded a few notable fights as part of the UFC 258 promotional campaign. One of them is Gilbert Burns’ spectacular first-round TKO victory over BJJ legend and longtime MMA veteran Demian Maia. Fans can watch the fight in the video embedded below –
Gilbert Burns is a highly accomplished submission grappler as is Demian Maia. Burns is considered to be one of the most underrated BJJ technicians in MMA today. Meanwhile, Maia is heralded as one of the greatest BJJ specialists to cross over into the sport of MMA.
Heading into the Gilbert Burns vs. Demian Maia matchup, which took place at UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Oliveira on March 14th, 2020, many expected to see a grappling masterpiece between the two submission grappling wizards.
Alternatively, others claimed that their respective grappling skill-sets will nullify each other, resultantly turning their fight into one that’s largely contested on the feet.
Gilbert Burns survived Demian Maia’s crafty submission attempts and rallied to stop him via TKO
As is the case with every MMA fight, the Gilbert Burns vs. Demian Maia bout too started on the feet. Both fighters respected each other’s power and refused to fully commit to their strikes. Burns appeared to have a speed advantage in the striking department, but Maia too seemed to hold his own on the feet.
Demian Maia continued stalking Gilbert Burns along the fence, constantly threatening to go for a takedown. Maia finally did grab on to a single-leg takedown, and he then dragged Burns to the ground.
Gilbert Burns threatened with a knee-bar and gave Demian Maia different things to worry about by switching up his leg-lock attempts. Regardless, Maia stayed calm, and he worked on holding Burns down and advancing position.
Burns eventually got back to his feet, albeit with Maia still glued to him along the fence. Maia took him down and then beautifully advanced to Burns’ back. This is where Burns passed what was arguably his biggest test in this fight.
Durinho successfully defended himself against Maia’s rear-naked choke attempts. Maia then went to full-mount, but Gilbert Burns brilliantly slipped away and got to his feet. The striking battle resumed. Burns, from the orthodox stance, landed a crisp 1-2 (left jab-right straight). Maia, from the southpaw position, threw a jab (right jab), which was countered by a thunderous left hook by Burns.
Burns’ left hook knocked Maia down, and the former briefly thought that the fight had already been called off. Burns then followed up with a few ground strikes until the referee waved off the fight. The end came at the 2:34 minute-mark of round one, with Gilbert Burns being declared the winner via first-round TKO.