Kamaru Usman successfully defended the UFC welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251 last Saturday at the Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Kamaru Usman now has wins over all the top 5 title contenders in the division except Gilbert Burns.
Kamaru Usman has beaten some of the biggest names in the history of UFC welterweight division including Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington, Demian Maia, etc. Usman has fought a striker, a wrestler, and a grappler. However, he is still unbeaten in UFC. That leads us to one question. Is there anyone that can beat Kamaru Usman?
The only opponent who has pushed Kamaru Usman to the limits so far in UFC is Colby Covington. Usman beat Covington in the final round via TKO. However, going into the final round, Covington was leading as per one judges' scorecard. Covington is the only fighter to win arguably 3 rounds against Usman and for good reasons.
Usman and Covington had a striking battle throughout the five rounds and for a good reason. Both are two of the best wrestlers in the division. Both have insane pace and cardio. If anyone can deal with the wrestling heavy approach of Kamaru Usman then it has to be Colby Covington.
in the first encounter, the power difference played a huge role in the outcome. Usman is insanely strong for the division. Though Covington was landing more strikes Usman was landing the bigger strikes. Besides that, there were some controversial decisions from the referee, Marc Goddard during the fight. The first encounter was a close one and if they fight each other again it won't be surprising to see Covington get his hands raised.
Gilbert Burns is a bad matchup for Kamaru Usman
However, there is a bigger threat than Colby Covington in the division for the welterweight champion. And it's Gilbert Burns. As per UFC president, Dana White, Kamaru Usman will defend his title against Gilbert Burns next.
And stylistically, it's a nightmare matchup for Kamaru Usman. Burns is phenomenal on the ground. Usman might take Burns down, but he won't be able to hold him down for long. Burns has the ability and the explosiveness to get back up or be offensive on the ground.
On the feet, Burns is a better striker than Usman. Moreover, Burns has the knockout power, which Usman does not have. Usman might dominate Burns in the clinch if he gets him up against the cage. However, Burns has more tools to secure a win if he fights Usman.
Kamaru Usman is arguably the most dominant champion after Georges St Pierre and for good reasons. It will take a special performance from Burns or Covington or any other UFC welterweights to beat the Nigerian Nightmare.