Gilbert Burns says he and Kamaru Usman have gone at it in ‘over 200 rounds sparring’

Kamaru-Usman-Gilbert-Burns
PhotoCred: MMA Mania

The next UFC welterweight title tilt will feature two men who are very familiar with each other. And according to the challenger in that bout, Gilbert Burns, it’s as if he and Kamaru Usman have already fought 40 times at the minimum.

Originally set to square off at UFC 251 in July 2020, Gilbert Burns would be forced out of the matchup after testing positive for COVID-19. Thus leading to Jorge Masvidal jumping into his place.

Usman would successfully defend his title via unanimous decision against “Gamebred”. Now, the two former teammates are rebooked for UFC 258 on Feb. 13.

“Me and Kamaru had over 200 rounds sparring, at least,” Gilbert Burns told MMA Junkie. “We started training together in 2012 in Blackzillians. Then Blackzillians broke down, they disappeared, so we moved with Henri Hooft. We went to a place called Combat Club. Then we were there for almost a year, and then we opened up the Hard Knocks. We were at Hard Knocks for two years. Then we moved to Sanford MMA and then we been in Sanford for a total of two years. So I’ve trained with Kamaru for seven years and we both love to train.

“He was a good training partner for me and I was good partner for him. Just sparring sessions, over 200. And just the grappling sessions, plus the wrestling sessions, for sure I have so many hours on the mat with Kamaru. We know each other very well.”

The second-degree BJJ black belt in Gilbert Burns has looked sensational since returning to the 170-pound weight class in 2019. Currently riding a six-fight win streak, those most recent four have all come in the welterweight division. Similar to his friend, Usman, Burns has managed to dispatch of perennial contenders Demian Maia as well as former champion Tyron Woodley.

Always keeping it classy, “Durinho” added that the sessions between himself and Usman were always very competitive with neither man having a clear edge.

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