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Nigerian Nightmare on Quest for Greatness

Two longtime teammates will face off with the UFC welterweight title on the line as

dominant welterweight champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman takes on Gilbert

“Durinho” Burns.

Kamara Usman is one of the most dominant champions the UFC has had in quite

some time. Usman is coming off a unanimous decision win over superstar Jorge Masvidal at

UFC 251. Usman was originally scheduled to face Burns at UFC 251, but Burns had to pull out

after testing positive for COVID-19. Usman shut down the hype when he controlled every

second of the fight to retain his title. Usman won the title when he fought Tyron Woodley at

UFC 235. In what was a shocking performance, Usman rag dolled Woodley for 25 minutes and showed the world he was more than ready to be champion.

Usman next defended his belt against bitter rival Colby Covington at UFC 245. The two wrestlers would stand and throw leather for five rounds until Covington succumbed to the power of Usman and was TKO’ed with under a minute left in the fight.

I truly believe Usman has the potential to be one of the greatest welterweights of all time. While Usman doesn’t have the most exciting fighting style, it is very effective. Usman has only lost one fight in his 18-fight career, and that was his very first fight.

Usman has decent striking, but mainly uses his striking to set up takedowns and control his opponents against the fence in the clinch or on the ground just smothering his opponents. The game plan remains the same for Usman: take down, take down, and repeat until his hand is raised with the UFC welterweight belt wrapped around his waist.

Gilbert Burns, ranked No. 2, has had amazing results since moving up in weight to the

welterweight division. Burns fought at lightweight for the majority of his career and had

success, but tough weight cuts just weren’t for Burns anymore. Burns moved up to

welterweight and took on Alexey Kunchenko in April 2019. Kunchenko was 20-0 heading into

the fight but Burns made it look like it was Kunchenko’s first ever fight. Burns looked in control

of the fight the entire time and cruised his way to a unanimous decision win.

Burns next took on perineal contender Gunnar Nelson and would show he’s a legit contender and win by unanimous decision. Burns took a step up in competition and faced two-time title UFC title challenger and submission ace Demian Maia. Burns would shine and TKO Maia in the first round.

Burns wanted to keep the hot streak going and faced former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. This was Woodley’s first fight since losing the belt and was expected to fight

with a chip on his shoulder. In the opening round, Burns rocked Woodley and took control

on the ground, almost finishing the former champion. Burns set the pace the whole fight and won a very dominant unanimous decision.

Burns has been a Jiu Jitsu guy for a long time and has started to show how deadly his power is in the new weight class. Burns has adjusted great at welterweight, but he has the greatest test in front of him in a former teammate and current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.

I’m very excited to see how this fight goes and I’m picking Usman to win by decision to continue his reign of dominance. Catch all of the amazing fights on ESPN+ PPV!

Tidwell 2021 record: 2-0

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