UFC welterweight contender Gilbert Burns says it “hurt him” to have to put away legend Demian Maia with strikes at UFC Brasilia.
Burns dropped Maia with a brutal left hook and immediately celebrated, thinking the referee would step in and stop the fight. But the ref didn’t ump in immediately, making Burns have to go down to the mat and finish Maia off with nasty hammer fists. For Burns, it was hard for him to do that considering how much Maia means to young Brazilian jiu-jitsu grapplers such as him, but at the end of the day, he had to do his job.
Speaking to reporters following UFC Brasilia, Burns spoke about how difficult it was for him to have to hurt Maia, who he considers one of his idols in the sport.
I really do love everything this guy stands for pic.twitter.com/BwzBei6iJU
— Amy Kaplan (@PhotoAmy33) March 15, 2020
“I was very touched at the end of the fight. I heard his head hitting the floor hard, I thought the referee should have stopped it. He didn’t stop it, and I had to do my job, but it hurt me to have to do that. I have never felt this way, but for all the affection, admiration and respect I have for Demian, I felt bad about having to do that in the end,” Burns said.
Although it was hard for Burns to see Maia get hurt, Burns did what he had to do to finish the fight. That’s his job as a mixed martial artist, so even though it might have been hard for him to do it, it was the only thing to do as a trained MMA fighter. And Maia knew the risk of what would happen when he stepped into the Octagon, as well. With a win over Maia on his resume now, look for Burns to fight someone else in the top-10 next.
What should be next for Gilbert Burns?