Gilbert Burns was overwhelmingly defeated. It was so shocking that it was hard to see it as a confrontation between top rankers.
Belal Muhammad (34, USA), ranked 4th in the UFC welterweight ranking, won a unanimous decision victory in the 5th round against Gilbert Burns (36, Brazil), ranked 5th.
Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns faced off in a co-main event welterweight bout at UFC 288: Sterling vs. Cejudo at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on the 7th (Korean time).
The lightweight match between Benil Dariush and Charles Oliveira, which should have been the co-main of ‘UFC 288’ earlier, was postponed to ‘UFC 289’, replaced by a match between Muhammad and Burns who appeared like a relief pitcher. In the case of Burns, he returned to the Octagon in just one month following ‘UFC 287’.
Muhammad and Burns had one goal. By winning this match, Colby Covington (35, USA) is destined to receive a welterweight title shot.
The two are currently strong next title challengers in the welterweight division, except for Kamaru Usman (36, USA/Nigeria) and Hamzat Chimaev (29, Sweden). This is because Usman was defeated by welterweight champion Leon Edwards (31, England), and Chimaev moved to middleweight and is preparing to face off against Paulo Costa (31, Brazil).
Muhammad showed an intelligent game management aiming for timing, not pushing with force. Burns struggled here. The beginning of the game was a careful search. Muhammad showed good moves, avoiding Burns’ blows and performing stance switching. Burns didn’t have the timing right. It seemed to allow Muhammad a blow to the face as he went forward. Muhammad took the first round.토토사이트
Even in the second round, Muhammad’s tricky game management bothered Burns. There were no hot blows. In the third round, Muhammad also managed to land an effective hit avoiding Burns’ reckless moves. Burns was caught up in Muhammad’s hit-and-run strategy, and it was clear that he was mentally struggling.
By the time the game was over, Burns hadn’t caught the timing. Until the last 5 rounds, it was Muhammad’s perfect ‘play’. Muhammad won by unanimous decision in round 5 (50-45, 49-46, 49-46). It was an overwhelming victory that existed up to a whopping 5 points.
In an interview after the match, Muhammad emphasized, “Everything is going as God planned.” He said, “It is God’s will that I received this offer and won.” He also said, “I felt the opponent injured his left arm. He looked back, saying, “I didn’t try to force myself into it because it would be dangerous if hit by an opponent.”
With this, Belal Muhammad set a record of 9 consecutive wins against Leone Edwards, excluding the invalid eye poke. The total record is 23 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses from 27 matches. On the other hand, Gilbert Burns broke his two-game winning streak, recording 22 wins and 6 losses in 28 matches.