HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Gilbert Burns is surprised to see how much Kamaru Usman has grown as of late.

In the lead up to his fight with Burns (19-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC), UFC welterweight champion Usman moved his camp over to Colorado to train under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman, which seems to have done wonders to his game – especially in the striking department.

Usman (20-1 MMA, 15-0 UFC) showed off new wrinkles to his game when he knocked Burns out in the second round at UFC 258 and also became the first man to knock Jorge Masvidal out cold when he finished him with a blistering right hand at UFC 261. The champion was then able to outlast Colby Covington once again, dropping him twice in the second round in his most recent title defense at UFC 268.

A former teammate of Usman’s at Sanford MMA, Burns lauded Usman for his fifth title defense over Covington earlier this month.

“I think Kamaru looked great,” Burns told MMA Junkie. “Looked like a champion again, was tested a little bit, but once again, he keeps doing what he’s doing best. I think he did a great job. I didn’t know that change to Colorado would do that good to him, but he did very good and he’s been looking amazing.”

Burns proceeded to play matchmaker for both Usman and Covington and gave his take on how he sees the rest of the welterweight division panning out.

“Colby too, even losing I think looked very good,” Burns said. “He still showed a lot of improvement, but next for Kamaru I think should be Leon. If he don’t wanna go up to middleweight – I think he could, but I don’t think he will so I think next will be Leon Edwards whenever they feel like it. If something happens, Vicente is right there too, he could be next.

“For Colby, the perfect fight would be me. That’s the fight that I want, he knows that I want, but when it’s time to call out a guy, when it’s time to pick an opponent, they don’t pick me so I think they know why. Leon never says my name, Colby never says my name, Masvidal never says my name so there’s a reason for that.”


Twitter reacts to Kamaru Usman’s title defense against Colby Covington in UFC 268 rematch


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