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UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns results and post-fight analysis

Dayne Fox gives instant analysis to the UFC action out of UFC 258 topped by Kamaru Usman setting a new welterweight record with 13 consecutive wins in a back-and-forth title defense over Gilbert Burns.

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Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Heading into the event, it was understood UFC 258 was largely a one-fight card. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending his belt against Gilbert Burns wasn’t the sexiest headliner, but MMA fans knew it had the makings of a fun fight. Fortunately, they weren’t disappointed. Burns came out on fire, rattling the defending champion with a series of punches. Usman knocked him to his back out of defense and instead of rushing back to his feet to capitalize on a still hurt Usman, Burns tried enticing Usman to jump into his guard. Big mistake as Usman recovered. In the second, Usman listened to his coach’s advice and began sticking his jab with authority. Burns got knocked down and it was clear in his eyes that he was in trouble. He survived the round, but Usman continued the assault and not only recorded his third successful title defense, it was his 13th win in a row, surpassing GSP’s welterweight record. Most of us knew it going into the event, but there can’t be any doubters now: Kamaru Usman is a bad man.

What’s next for Usman is worth watching. There isn’t a obvious new challenge in front of him and he called out Jorge Masvidal. There’s a feeling that callout would be financially motivated as Masvidal is the most bankable opponent, but Colby Covington and Leon Edwards are floating out there too as probable challengers. The jostling for position for who gets next will be interesting to watch. Burns may be able to circle around for another shot at the belt, but it could be a few years if Usman remains as dominant as it appears he is going to be.

As for the rest of the ‘UFC 258 - ‘USMAN VS BURNS’ card....

Main Card

  • The UFC wasn’t giving up on Maycee Barber after her loss to Roxanne Modafferi. Why else would they put her in the co-main event of a PPV? Maybe they should have slowed their roll. Alexa Grasso put on a clinic in all areas of the contest. Boxing in the pocket. The clinch. The grappling on the mat. Barber flashed her talent – especially when desperation set in for the third round — but couldn’t put it all together long enough against the more experienced Grasso. The decision win proves there’s no doubt Grasso can handle flyweight, but Barber needs more seasoning.
  • All Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier could talk about was the wrestling of Ian Heinisch heading into his contest with Kelvin Gastelum, but it was Gastelum’s wrestling that proved to be the difference. Heinisch did come the closest to ending the fight with an early kimura attempt and a couple of flying knees, but Gastelum’s control and consistent attack was enough to snap a three-fight losing streak for the former interim title challenger.
  • If Ricky Simon wanted to make a statement, he did just that. The moments for Brian Kelleher were fleeting as Simon scored takedown after takedown and showed strides in his boxing to keep Kelleher off-guard. Simon is primed for a shot at a top ten bantamweight opponent.
  • Your heart has to break for Maki Pitolo. He comes out looking better than ever, showing vastly improved wrestling and grappling, largely controlling Julian Marquez for the first two rounds. Marquez went into overdrive in the final round, looking for the finish. Pitolo didn’t make it easy, but Marquez found an Anaconda choke with less than a minute to go.


  • Anthony Hernandez and Rodolfo Vieira started as everyone expected: Vieira jumping all over Hernandez. The BJJ expert came close to submitting him too. However, Vieira put so much into the effort that he gassed himself and Hernandez took over about halfway through the opening round. After beating Vieira with punches and elbows, he submitted the grappling savant with a guillotine in the second round. Hat’s off to Fluffy as that was easily the biggest win of his career.
  • You get the feeling Dhiego Lima will have nightmares of Belal Muhammad every time the Queen/David Bowie hit “Under Pressure” touches his ears as Muhammad was in his grill from bell to bell, applying a plethora of strikes to Lima. Lima did have some effective offense – his calf kicks had Muhammad visibly limping – but Muhammad came out looking to make a statement and did that.
  • It wasn’t a surprise Mallory Martin took the fight to the ground. She’s first and foremost, a wrestler. However, it was a surprise to see her hang on as long as she did once Polyana Viana slapped a DEEP armbar into her. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one yelling at her to tap, though she eventually did. Nice first round win for Viana.
  • If Andre Ewell could have erased the last 15 seconds of the first round, we’d probably be looking at a different outcome. As it is, Chris Gutierrez took control of the final round, kicking the legs out from Ewell, and cruising to a clear decision victory.
  • Gabe Green and Phil Rowe kicked off the night with a fun welterweight scrap. Both had their moments in all aspects, but the narrative was largely Green taking the striking battle, Rowe controlling the grappling. Green’s damage proved to be the overriding factor, taking the decision.