Kamaru Usman defended his welterweight belt — yet again — on Sunday (AEDT) after putting an early end to Gilbert Burns’ title challenge at UFC 258.
A violent finish in the opening moments of the third round delivered Usman the third successful defence of his 170-belt in Las Vegas and continued his incredible win streak within the organisation, which now spans 13 fights.
It is the longest-ever winning streak for a welterweight in the UFC, surpassing the 12-fight run that former champion Georges St-Pierre went on.
Watch UFC action with ESPN on KAYO. Stream full Fight Night events live plus prelim fights for PPV events. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly
Against his former teammate, Usman overcame some real adversity in the first round — eating a big right hand — before recovering and coming back with more.
Burns survived a second that saw him stumble around the cage, before Usman, who switched stance into southpaw, dropped the Brazilian with a right hand jab to start the third round as referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the beating.
“Put some respect on my name,” Usman said after another win as Burns broke down in tears in the centre of the Octagon.
And the 33-year-old got it from all corners after defeating a challenger in Burns who was on a four-fight win streak at welterweight.
“That was a championship level performance by a man who get his respect,” former two-division Daniel Cormier said post-fight.
“Who’s next?” Joe Rogan asked. “… Man, what a monster. Incredible.”
Rogan added: “He’s got the perfect nickname — ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’. He is nightmare. How do you beat that?”
While Rogan didn’t know who might be next, Usman had a pretty clear idea. The dominant 170-pound champion called out Jorge Masvidal for a rematch, despite beating the ‘BMF” titleholder last July.
”We got this little street thug calling himself Jesus — he thinks he’s Jesus,” Usman said of Masvidal.
“We tried to make that fight several times … but he kept backing out. The only reason this man took the fight is because it was on six days’ notice and he had a built-in excuse.
“And he’s still running his mouth … guess what, it’s not done.
“I’ll give you a whole training camp, and I guarantee you won’t sign on that dotted line because this time I’m going to finish your a**.”
Usman added: “Anyone of these fools can get it. Anyone of them. But he keeps running his mouth, if he’s going to talk, step in here and you’ve got to see me. Step in here and see me.”