The co-main event for UFC 264 occurred between two top-ranked welterweights as the #2 ranked, Gilbert Burns, was able to out-grapple the #4 ranked welterweight, Stephen Thompson, en route to a unanimous decision victory. This was a highly competitive fight, with Thompson doing his best work on the feet, and Burns naturally having his moments on the ground. Gilbert did enough to earn three scores of 29-28 and get himself back into the win column. On the microphone with Joe Rogan, Burns called for a fight with the likes of Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz.
Burns took the center of the Octagon while Thompson played his usual outside game. Thompson quickly found himself fighting off a takedown attempt with his back up against the cage. Burns eventually got “Wonderboy” to the ground, but Thompson managed to scramble back up to his feet without sustaining too much damage.
Thompson came out in the second round throwing much more volume than he did in the previous round. Burns was leaping in with punches, but Stephen was finding a groove. Then, with about 30-seconds to go in the round that Gilbert was finally able to get Thompson down. The round ended in a timeless moment with both men punching each other in the face in the middle of a scramble.
Thompson started strong in the third round, and even dropped Burns with a spinning heel kick to the noggin. Burns stood up and returned fire, and then was able to close the distance and hit a takedown. Of course the crowd erupted in boo’s, but Burns got the fight down into his world when he needed to most. With about ten-seconds to go, Gilbert postured up in the full mount and violently punched away until the bell.