Gilbert Burns believes he made a big mistake in his welterweight title fight with Kamaru Usman, and it ultimately ended up costing him.
Burns challenged Usman for the UFC welterweight title in the main event of UFC 258 on Saturday night. The Brazilian challenger managed to drop the champion with a big punch early in the first round, but failed to finish the fight, and was ultimately stopped by a volley of punches in round three.
Speaking at the event’s post-fight press conference, Burns shared his belief that he got overeager when he hurt Usman early in the fight, stating that he “went Cody Garbrandt crazy,” referencing the former UFC bantamweight champion’s habit of abandoning game plans and getting sucked into frenetic brawls.
“I have so much respect for my guy, Cody Garbrandt … I just went the same way,” Burns said (via MMA Fighting). “As soon as I saw he was hurt, forget about the strategy. I just went for the kill.
“I think I made the same mistake when I fought Dan Hooker [and lost by knockout],” Burns added later. “To become a champion, I cannot make those mistakes.”
While Burns feels he lost control when he hurt Usman, he credits the champion for keeping his composure throughout the entire fight.
“He stayed disciplined,” Burns said. “He’s not quick. He doesn’t hit that hard. But he’s friggin’ disciplined. And for me, it was the opposite. I got over excited, loaded up on my punches, and that was my mistake.”
Having already identified the errors he made in his fight with Usman, Burns is now keen to return to the drawing board, and with a little luck, become the champion in the future.
“The way I see it right now, I just want to do it like Robbie Lawler,” Burns said. “[Lawler] was the only guy, if I’m not wrong, that lost to Johnny Hendricks and then just got right back, fought again, and became a champion.
“I hope I don’t get a crazy suspension, and I go back and rest, stay with my family a little bit,” Burn added. “I just want to fight as quick as I can. I know I can do it, and it was almost done, but I cannot make those mistakes and become a champion.”
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