Gilbert Burns should be well prepared for Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 considering he’s sparred over 200 rounds with the reigning UFC welterweight champion.
That’s right, in a recent interview with MMA Junkie, ‘Durinho’ revealed the extent of their training sessions at Blackzillians, Combat Club, Hard Knocks, and Sanford MMA before Usman decided to part ways with Burns and Co. just a few weeks out from their original title bout at UFC 251 (later rescheduled to UFC 256, and then UFC 258).
“Me and Kamaru had over 200 rounds sparring, at least,” Burns said. “We started training together in 2012 in Blackzillians. Then Blackzillians broke down, they disappeared, so we moved with Henri Hooft. We went to a place called Combat Club. Then we were there for almost a year, and then we opened up the Hard Knocks. We were at Hard Knocks for two years. Then we moved to Sanford MMA and then we been in Sanford for a total of two years. So I’ve trained with Kamaru for seven years and we both love to train.”
“He was a good training partner for me and I was good partner for him. Just sparring sessions, over 200. And just the grappling sessions, plus the wrestling sessions, for sure I have so many hours on the mat with Kamaru. We know each other very well.”
Burns has nothing but respect for Usman but reveals they were never really ‘close friends’ outside the gym.
“I have so much respect for Kamaru,” he said. “I like him a lot and it’s going to be a competition. No bad blood, nothing. I have nothing against him. He’s been a great champion, a good teammate. We were never close friends, we never texted each other or anything, it was always about fighting.”
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns takes place next month, Feb. 13 at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Check out the full fight card below.
Main Card (10 PM ET, PPV)
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns
Uriah Hall vs. Chris Weidman
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Ian Heinisch
Maycee Barber vs. Alexa Grasso
Preliminary Card (bout order TBD)
Julian Marquez vs. Maki Pitolo
Dhiego Lima vs. Belal Muhammad
Gillian Robertson vs. Miranda Maverick
Gabriel Green vs. Phillip Rowe
Rodolfo Vieira vs. Anthony Hernandez
Mallory Martin vs. Polyana Viana