UFC: Kamaru Usman is not on the same level of Georges St. Pierre yet

Recency bias is a huge thing in the UFC. We see it all the time where a fighter will put on an amazing performance and people are quick to say either it’s the greatest performance of all time or a fighter belongs in the GOAT conversation.

It’s always important to take a deep breath and take a step back after those incredible performances. Last Saturday at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his welterweight championship for the third time. He finished Gilbert Burns (19-4) in the second round.

Kamaru Usman looked sensational and he showed off that he’s the total package. He’s got incredible grappling and now his striking has progressed to being some of the best in the division. After the fight was over, there was already talk about where Kamaru Usman ranks against the greats.

Part of the reason for this is the fact that Usman’s win on Saturday was his thirteenth straight victory in the UFC‘s welterweight division. That win broke the previous all time record held by Georges St. Pierre (26-2).

GSP is widely considered to be either the greatest of all time or on the short list. His reign in the UFC was truly something special and it’s even more remarkable considering that he walked away at 32 years old. One year younger than Kamaru Usman is now.

Sure, GSP came back and won the middleweight title at UFC 217. However, his welterweight reign came to a close at just 32 years old when he decided to walk away from the sport. Who knows what GSP could’ve done if he would have kept going back in 2013 and stayed motivated.

Is the UFC champ on the same level as GSP?

After Saturday night, there were some people that have staked the claim that Kamaru Usman is on the same level as the UFC hall of famer, Georges St. Pierre. A big point to that argument, as Daniel Cormier said this week, is the competition level.

The MMA game has evolved so much just in the last ten years. Fighters now are better than ever and some believe that the stiffer competition should give Usman more of a bump. Frankly, I agree with that statement.

However, it’s important to remember that Usman just completed his third title defense. Yes, he’s won 13 in a row in the division, but he’s only defended his title three times. There’s something to the pressure of title fights regardless of competition. At his peak, GSP defended the welterweight title nine times.

Overall, St. Pierre was 13-2 in title fights between welterweight and middleweight. In my opinion, the two greatest fighters in UFC history are Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre. Their body of work cannot be denied and they deserve those spots on the mountain.

Yes, the competition is better than ever now. However, Kamaru Usman has more work to do before he’s on the same level as GSP. Will it take him nine title defenses to get there? I don’t believe so because of the competition level. However, he definitely needs more than three.

After snapping losing streak at UFC 258, what’s next for Kelvin Gastelum?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Kelvin Gastelum (16-6) was fighting with his back against the wall. The former interim title challenger had lost three fights in a row leading up to UFC 258. Gastelum had a hungry Ian Heinisch (14-4) in front of him, ready to take his spot.

Heinisch has a lot of promise, however, he hasn’t been able to break through against top competition in the UFC. He was hoping to get that done against Kelvin Gastelum. However, Gastelum showed the world on Saturday night that he’s far from done.

From the opening bell, it felt that Kelvin Gastelum was in control on Saturday night. Heinisch was supposed to have the wrestling advantage, but it was actually Kelvin Gastelum who was winning the grappling exchanges.

Heinisch had moments in going for submissions, but nothing was ever close. Gastelum dropped the final round, but with the first two rounds in the bag, it didn’t matter. An emotional Gastelum saw his hand raised for the first time in a few years. So what does the UFC do with him next?

What’s next after UFC 258?

The middleweight division is in a very interesting spot at the moment. Currently, nine of the top 12 UFC middleweights in the world are booked for their next fight. One of those being Gastelum and another being the champion, Israel Adesanya.

The other middleweight who is not booked is an interesting opponent for Gastelum. That opponent would be the third ranked middleweight in the UFC, Jared Cannonier (13-5). Cannonier just suffered his first loss at middleweight back at UFC 254.

Had Cannonier won that fight, he would have earned the next title shot. However, he fell short against Robert Whittaker. Cannonier has been recovering from an injury, but this is the perfect matchup to make.

Cannonier needs a top opponent upon his return, and Gastelum would like to get someone in or around the UFC’s top five. To me, it seems like a perfect matchup for both. However, I would expect Gastelum stays ready in case someone falls out of the upcoming matchups over the next two months.

After second straight loss at UFC 258, what’s next for Maycee Barber?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Maycee Barber (8-2) made her return in the co-main event of the evening. Arguably the promotion’s top female prospect had a tough test in front of her in Alexa Grasso (13-3).

Barber was being built up as the future just like her nickname would suggest. Maycee Barber is ferocious when she’s on and she’s always looking for a finish. She drew some criticism when she made the bullish claim that she’d be the youngest champion in UFC history.

However, those plans were derailed in 2020 with a loss and a knee injury. There was a lot of hype behind this matchup which is why is was the co-main event of the evening. However, this fight didn’t go as Barber planned.

From the opening bell, Barber looked hesitant to get on the inside. She was throwing a lot of feints, but they were from very far away. It was all pretty much wasted movement and when she did come in to engage, Grasso was tagging her.

The first two rounds were very one-sided for Alexa Grasso at UFC 258. In the third round, we saw some glimpses of that promise from Barber. She was ferocious in trying to get a finish, but it was a little too late and she ultimately lost her second straight by decision.

What’s next after UFC 258?

It’s important to remember that Maycee Barber is just 22 years old. She has plenty of time to regroup despite back-to-back losses in the UFC. The promotion has a few options for her in her next fight.

If they want to give her a ranked opponent, the promotion could look at someone like Andrea Lee (11-5). It wasn’t long ago that Andrea Lee was looked at as a title contender. However, she’s now lost three in a row which finds her 12th in the UFC’s flyweight division.

If they want to give her someone outside the rankings, another option could be Ariane Lipski (13-6). Lipski is on the fringe of the top 15, but she just got finished by Antonina Shevchenko. Lipski would be a solid test for Barber in a fight she should be favored in.

The UFC should give her a decent opponent in her next fight. She has a ton of potential, but just because she’s lost two straight doesn’t mean she should get a layup. I think either of these matchups would be good for Maycee Barber.

What’s next for Kamaru Usman after UFC 258?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns (19-4). It was such an intriguing matchup because of the rise of Gilbert Burns and the fact that these two men used to be training partners.

The fight didn’t start well for Usman. Usman was hurt badly in the opening exchanges and Burns went all out trying to get a finish. However, Usman remained composed during the storm of Burns. Once that storm was over, the fight started to flip.

In the second round, Usman started picking Burns apart. Usman’s jab looked incredible and he ended up dropping Burns a couple of times in the second round. The finish was right there for the UFC champion.

In the third round, a power jab sat Burns down for good. Usman followed up with shots and the ref called a stop to the action. A massive win and a massive statement from the UFC‘s welterweight champion.

What’s next after UFC 258?

After the fight was over, there was one name on the mind of the UFC welterweight champion. That name is Jorge Masvidal (35-14). Masvidal and Usman fought back at UFC 251 on short-notice and Usman won by decision.

Usman said in his post-fight interview that he wants Masvidal to get a full camp so he can finish him. The UFC had been trying to book Masvidal and Colby Covington against each other and make them the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter.

However, it now appears that the UFC is going to switch things up. As of now, it appears that the promotion is going to book the rematch with Masvidal and Usman with them serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but it appears that the rematch between Masvidal and Usman is next. It’s the biggest fight in terms of dollar signs for Usman so it’s not a huge surprise to see him want to get in there again with Gamebred.

After setback at UFC 258, what’s next for Ian Heinisch?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Ian Heinisch (14-4) had arguably the biggest fight of his career against Kelvin Gastelum (16-6). Gastelum is a former title challenger and he was in the top 10 in the UFC‘s middleweight division.

A win for Ian Heinisch would have sent him into the top ten and one step closer to achieving his dream. Gastelum entered the fight on a three-fight losing streak and he felt like his job was on the line.

When the fight started, both men were fighting with urgency. Gastelum was putting pressure on Heinisch and Heinisch was looking for the finish. In the first round, Heinisch attempted multiple submissions to try and get the victory.

However, nothing locked in fully. Heinisch used a ton of energy in the first round trying to get Gastelum out of there and he couldn’t do it. As the fight went on, it appeared that Heinisch was feeling the exhaustion of the moment at UFC 258.

For the most part, Kelvin Gastelum completely controlled the fight from start to finish on Saturday night. In the end, the judges unanimously gave the fight to Gastelum which ended his losing streak. Heinisch will now have to go back to the drawing board after UFC 258.

What’s next after UFC 258?

I’m very confident in saying that Ian Heinisch deserved to be in that spot at UFC 258. Heinisch does have a lot of potential, but we’ve seen him stumble against competition that ranks inside the top fifteen.

So far, Heinisch has taken on three fighters ranked in the UFC. He’s 0-3 in those matchups. For his next fight, he needs to take on someone outside of the rankings and I think there’s an opponent that is perfect for him.

The guy that Ian Heinisch needs to fight next is Brendan Allen (15-4). First and foremost, this fight was supposed to happen multiple times and it kept falling through. These two are not fans of each other and this fight needs to happen.

Not too mention the fact that these two are fringe top fifteen middleweights in the UFC. Both are coming off of a loss and it’s the perfect time to make this fight. I know they’ve tried it a few times, but the promotion needs to put this one together again.

UFC Matchmaker: Li Jingliang – Belal Muhammad

This past weekend at UFC 258, Belal Muhammad (18-3) took on Dhiego Lima (15-8). Both men entered the contest on winning streaks, but Muhammad was the only fighter who made the walk with a ranking by his name.

Entering UFC 258, Muhammad was ranked 13th in the welterweight division. Going into this matchup, I figured Muhammad’s wrestling would just overwhelm Lima. However, that wasn’t the case.

Lima was incredibly impressive with his takedown defense and kept the fight standing for the majority of the fight. That said, Muhammad still completely controlled the fight on Saturday night.

Muhammad put a pace on Lima that just weathered the former Ultimate Fighter runner-up. Lima landed some good shots, but the fight was all Belal Muhammad. I came away incredibly impressed by the continued improvement of Belal Muhammad’s striking.

After the fight was over, Muhammad didn’t call out one of the elites of the division. Instead, he called out a fighter that makes perfect sense when you look at the UFC rankings. Muhammad called out The Leech, Li Jingliang (18-6).

Will the UFC make this matchup?

Last month, Jingliang took on the returning Santiago Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio at one point looked like he was going to be the next big threat in the UFC’s welterweight division. However, injuries and time away have slowed his progress.

While he was the big betting favorite, Ponzinibbio couldn’t deliver. Jingliang ended up knocking him out with a flush left hand and that win found Jingliang ranked 12th in the UFC’s welterweight rankings. One spot ahead of Belal Muhammad.

Muhammad made the callout on Saturday night because he said it’s the fight that makes sense. Despite the winning streak and being ranked, Muhammad hasn’t received a ranked opponent over his last few fights. That’s something that the UFC will aim to change in his next time out.

I believe that the proposed matchup between Muhammad and Jingliang makes all the sense in the world. Whoever would be victorious in that matchup would be primed for a matchup against someone in the UFC’s top ten.

After her big win at UFC 258, what’s next for Alexa Grasso?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, the women’s flyweight division was on display in the co-main event. One of the promotion’s top prospects, Maycee Barber (8-2), was making her return against Alexa Grasso (13-3).

Barber has claimed for the last couple of years that she was going to be the youngest champion in UFC history. Those plans were derailed by a knee injury and a loss last year, but she insisted that she was going to make a statement at UFC 258.

Alexa Grasso was making her second appearance in the flyweight division. After spending years depleting herself to make 115, Grasso moved up to 125. The decision to move up to the flyweight division was the best possible decision Grasso could have made.

When the fight started on Saturday, Barber seemed anxious while Grasso seemed calm and composed. Through the first two rounds, anytime Barber would come forward, Grasso would sting her with beautiful combinations.

What really impressed me was the fact that Barber couldn’t even get the advantage in the grappling. Grasso controlled most of the grappling exchanges at UFC 258 which I think nobody anticipated going into the fight.

In the third round, Barber went all out trying to get a finish. You have to give her credit for that, and Grasso withstood the storm from Barber. While Barber took the final round, Grasso walked away with her hand raised on Saturday night.

What’s next after UFC 258?

The UFC’s flyweight division has a very exciting new contender in Alexa Grasso. I’m very interested to see how the promotion moves her forward after her big win on Saturday night. With that, they have a couple of different paths.

The first path is giving her a slight step up in the rankings in terms of opponents. With that, you’d have someone like Viviane Araujo (10-2) who is currently ranked seventh. I think that would be a fantastic matchup and a lot of fun for the fans.

However, if they want to move her up quicker than that, perhaps a matchup against Lauren Murphy (14-4) or Katlyn Chookagian (15-4) could be next. If that’s what Grasso got next, she could just be one win away from a UFC title shot.

Again, it’ll be very interesting to see how the promotion goes with her. Either way, it’s exciting times in the flyweight division.

After falling short at UFC 258, what’s next for Gilbert Burns?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Gilbert Burns (19-4) finally got his shot at Kamaru Usman (18-1). Burns was originally supposed to fight for the title back in July of last year, but a positive COVID test prevented the fight from happening.

Then, the two were supposed to fight at UFC 256 in December. However, Usman needed more time to recover after sustaining injuries in his last fight. The two finally got their chance to see who was better at UFC 258.

The fight couldn’t have started better for Gilbert Burns. Burns’ speed was blistering and he hurt Usman bad in the opening exchanges. However, Burns got overzealous in going for the kill and it seemed to drain him a bit.

After Burns couldn’t put the champion away, he appeared to be fatigued from an adrenaline dump. Usman started to go to work after that point. With a piston-like jab, Usman started beating up the challenger in the second round.

Between the second and third rounds at UFC 258, Burns was dropped three times before the referee called a stop to the action. Burns was extremely emotional in the octagon after the crushing loss. So after falling short on Saturday, what’s next for Gilbert Burns?

What’s next after UFC 258?

Everything in the UFC’s welterweight division has seemingly turned on it’s head. A week ago, the promotion had Khamzat Chimaev – Leon Edwards booked and they were working on Jorge Masvidal – Colby Covington for The Ultimate Fighter.

However, after the Chimaev – Edwards fight fell through, Dana White said that the UFC is looking at booking Covington – Edwards. With that, it appears that Jorge Masvidal (35-14) is going to get the next title shot after Kamaru Usman called him out on Saturday. 

With knowing these new directions, where does that leave Gilbert Burns? Well, if Colby Covington (16-2) and Leon Edwards (18-3) do fight in March, Burns could take on the loser in his next fight. Perhaps even the winner depending on how the title fight timeline shakes up.

A couple of additional options would be a fight with Michael Chiesa (18-4) or Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1). Those are the opponents that make the most sense for Burns. Gilbert Burns isn’t going away and he’s perhaps only just a win or two away from getting another title shot.

UFC: After post-fight callout, Jorge Masvidal could be next for Kamaru Usman per Dana White

Kamaru Usman (18-1) was simply brilliant at UFC 258. After getting hurt in the opening exchanges by Gilbert Burns (19-4), Usman started going to work on the challenger. Behind a beautiful jab and pressure, Usman was able to break Gilbert Burns.

In the second round, the UFC champion dropped Burns a few times. In the third round, Burns was dropped again by Usman which led to the end of the fight. Usman was fired up after the fight and demanded that people put some respect on his name.

In his post-fight interview, there was only one name on his mind. That name was Jorge Masvidal (35-14). Masvidal and Usman fought back at UFC 251 in July and Usman won the fight by decision.

Burns was originally supposed to fight Usman that night. However, COVID cancelled that fight. Usman and Masvidal agreed to fight on six days notice. Masvidal has maintained that he would beat Usman if he had a full camp and that hasn’t sat well with the UFC champion.

Usman told Joe Rogan after the fight that “Street Jesus” could have a full camp and he wants to finish him. At the post-fight press conference, Dana White seemed to be interested in the idea.

Will the UFC make it happen?

“If that’s the fight he (Usman) wants. That’s the fight Masvidal wants and I’m sure the people would like to see it too,” White said. Yesterday, White had mentioned that he was into the idea of having Leon Edwards and Colby Covington fight to be the number one contender.

If that fight were to take place, Masvidal wouldn’t have an opponent. At the moment, Usman doesn’t have a clear challenger so the fight does make sense in theory. Also, White has always maintained that he will make the fights that UFC fans want to see.

Given the star power of Jorge Masvidal, I think it’s safe to say that the rematch would be massive. We know that’s the fight Masvidal wants and if Usman is set on it, I think the UFC is going to move in that direction. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds at welterweight.

Kamaru Usman stops Gilbert Burns at UFC 258

In the main event of UFC 258, the welterweight title was on the line. The Nigerian Nightmare, Kamaru Usman (17-1), was set to defend his title against his former teammate and top contender, Gilbert Burns (19-3).

If you were going to build the perfect opponent for Kamaru Usman, it would be Gilbert Burns. Burns is a world champion in Jiu Jitsu and he has incredibly fast and powerful strikes on the feet. Since moving to the UFC‘s welterweight division, he’s looked like a killer.

Burns is undefeated at welterweight and he’s earned his shot at the title. While Burns has looked sensational, he had a tall mountain to climb tonight. Heading into his third title defense, Kamaru Usman’s name is already being mentioned with the all-time greats.

Usman’s relentless style and incredible pressure have made him a force in the UFC. He’s started his career inside the octagon at 12-0 and he was looking to tie Georges St. Pierre’s record of consecutive wins with a successful title defense at UFC 258.

UFC 258 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 258 main event got underway with no touch of the gloves after an intense staredown. Burns pushes forward immediately with big shots. Usman looked composed on the outside. Big body kick lands for Gilbert Burns.

A massive right hand drops Usman and Burns is all over him. The speed of Gilbert Burns is astonishing. Usman has regained his composure but he eats a head kick. However, Burns slips and lands on his back.

Usman was hesitant to jump in to the jiu jitsu champion’s guard. The UFC champion looked recovered and he kept throwing thigh kicks to the downed Burns. Burns gets back up and immediately lands a big knee.

Usman was moving forward with his own pressure. A nice left hook lands for Burns that Usman counters with a jab. A big low kick lands for the champ. The pace of Gilbert Burns has slowed significantly.

Big right hand lands for Kamaru Usman. A nice jab from the UFC champion lands. A big combination lands for Burns just before the round ends. Great first round that I give to Gilbert Burns.

Round 2

Usman looked much fresher in between rounds. However, Burns opened with more pressure in the second round. Another nice jab lands for the UFC champion. The jab is keeping Burns on the outside.

A nice low kick lands from Gilbert Burns. The jab of Usman is really doing damage in the second round. Gilbert Burns has slowed significantly in the second round. The UFC champ is finding his groove in the second.

However, a right hand from Burns staggers Usman. Burns turned up the pressure, but Usman stayed composed. A big shot from Usman backs Burns up against the fence. A massive right hand drops Burns and Usman is teeing off.

Burns was staggering all over the cage as the UFC champion was teeing off. Another big jab lands for Usman. Burns is getting lit up in the second round. A jab drops Burns again and the UFC champion was dominating the round.

One minute left in this big second round. Burns looked very wobbly on his feet. Another stinging shot lands for Usman. The second round comes to a close and it’s all even after two in this title fight.

Round 3

Burns looked to be in a lot of trouble before the third at UFC 258. Gilbert Burns took the center to start the third round. A nice leg kick lands for Gilbert Burns, but Kamaru Usman drops him again. A few follow up shots and this one is over. Masterful performance from the champ.

Kamaru Usman def. Gilbert Burns by TKO – Round 3