|Johannesburg, February 11 – Having established himself as the UFC’s dominant welterweight, Kamaru Usman is now working hard to prove he is the greatest fighter in the division’s history.
The man they call the “Nigerian Nightmare” defends his belt for the third time this weekend, against former teammate Gilbert Burns of Brazil (prelims from 3am on SuperSport Action, Maximo and Variety 3; main card from 5am on SuperSport Action, Maximo, Grandstand and Variety 3).
Fighting out of Boca Raton in Floria, but originally from Auchi in Nigeria, Usman has proved one of UFC’s most dominant champions, with recent wins over Colby Covington, whom he hit so hard he broke his jaw, and Jorge Masvidal, who was outfought on Fight Island last July.
Usman is now tied with all-time great Georges St-Pierre for the longest winning streak in the welterweight class (12).
Burns, riding a six-fight winning streak, comes in hot and should present problems. His career has surged after rejoining the welterweight division two years ago and rattling off four dominant wins in a row over Alexey Kunchenko, Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and former titleholder Tyron Woodley, who was badly beaten.
With wins over Masvidal, Covington and Edwards, a victory over Buns this weekend would mean that Usman would have wins over four of the five fighters ranked at the top of the welterweight rankings.
Usman has no problem knowing that his former teammate, and friend, will be seeking to put his lights out.
“These guys all sit there and look at what I’ve earned and what I’ve worked for and say ‘I want that. I want to eat his food. I want to take his plate.’ So at the end of the day, I have to be that same savage to go in there and defend each and every time. It’s a little different in a sense but at the same time, I see no face. When we get in there, they’re all the same.”