UFC 258: Kamaru Usman stops Gilbert Burns in Round 3

John Pollock's report on the UFC 258 card featuring UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending against Gilbert Burns.

Photo Courtesy: UFC

UFC 258 is headlined by Kamaru Usman defending the UFC welterweight championship against Gilbert Burns from the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tonight, Phil Chertok and I will be LIVE immediately after the pay-per-view with the UFC 258 POST Show on the POST Wrestling YouTube channel. You can interact throughout the show with other listeners on the POST Discord chat.

MAIN CARD 
*UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman def. Gilbert Burns by TKO at 0:34 of Round 3
*Flyweight: Alexa Grasso def. Maycee Barber by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Middleweight: Kelvin Gastelum def. Ian Heinisch by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Featherweight: Ricky Simon def. Brian Kelleher by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Middleweight: Julian Marquez def. Maki Pitolo by D’Arce choke at 4:17 of Round 3

PRELIMINARY CARD 
*Middleweight: Anthony Hernandez def. Rodolfo Viera by guillotine at 1:53 of Round 2
*Welterweight: Belal Muhammad def. Dhiego Lima by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Strawweight: Polyana Viana def. Mallory Martin by armbar at 3:18 of Round 1
*Catchweight (140 pounds): Chris Gutierrez def. Andre Ewell by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-27, 29-28)

EARLY PRELIMS
*Welterweight: Gabriel Green def. Philip Rowe by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDRE EWELL (17-6, 138.5) VS CHRIS GUTIERREZ (15-4-2, 140) – CATCHWEIGHT

In the first round, it was Ewell’s counter striking proving effective but in the closing seconds, Gutierrez blasted him with a high kick and a flush knee to follow-up and stole the round. Gutierrez dominated with his leg kicks as the second round wore on, but Ewell came on later in the round rushing Gutierrez with a flurry and securing a takedown to even things up after two rounds. Gutierrez dominated round three primarily with his unanswered leg kicks that gave Gutierrez enough for a 10-8 round.

WINNER: Chris Gutierrez by unanimous decision (30-26, 29-27, 29-28)

After making the leap to featherweight, Gutierrez returned to bantamweight last August and fought Cody Durden to a draw. Since this was a late addition to this card, they fought at a catchweight of 140 pounds. Gutierrez changed the balance of the fight in his favor through the leg kicks that Ewell could not contend with as the fight wore on.

POLYANA VIANA (11-4, 116) VS MALLORY MARTIN (7-3, 115.5) – STRAWWEIGHT

The fight went to the ground very quickly with Viana applying a triangle from her back and going for an armbar while landing elbows. Martin was very tough trying to defend. The triangle was not fully locked when Martin slammed Viana and it was tightened. Viana finally moved to an armbar out of the triangle and got the tap.

WINNER: Polyana Viana by armbar at 3:18 of Round 1

Viana earned her second win at 115 pounds since moving to the weight class and was coming off a submission win against Emily Whitmire last August. Martin was the slight favorite in this fight and was coming off a win over Hannah Cifers last summer.

BELAL MUHAMMAD (17-3, 169.5) VS DHIEGO LIMA (15-7, 171) – WELTERWEIGHT

The funniest moment came early when Rogan referred to Lima as “Douglas” and quickly corrected himself.

Muhammad set the pace immediately as he attacked the body and legs consistently in the first round. It was a big start as Muhammad out-landed Lima 47-18 in significant strikes in the opening round.

Lima had success in round two through his leg kicks but it wasn’t enough to offset the relentless striking of Muhammad as he kept Lima against the fence.

In round three, Muhammad continued with a mixture of punches to the body and head, short elbows, kicks to the head and body before landing a takedown in the final minute and controlling Lima from his back to end the shutout.

WINNER: Belal Muhammad by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

Muhammad extends his winning streak to four and is victorious in eight of his last nine fights going back to February 2017. He is a rising contender at 170 pounds that is threatening the upper echelon of the packed division. Muhammad called out Li Jingliang to fight next because he is ranked one spot above him.

This was Lima’s first fight since October 2019 following neck and hand surgery and ends a three-fight winning streak.

RODOLFO VIERA (7-0, 186) VS ANTHONY HERNANDEZ (7-2, 186) – MIDDLEWEIGHT

This was the most incredible turn of events. Viera is a four-time BJJ world champion, an ADCC champion and about as decorated a grappler as you will find in MMA. Vieira instantly took Hernandez down and it was appearing to be over early. He got Hernandez’s back, then worked from the mount before transitioning to an armbar and Hernandez escaped. Then, the tide turned on the feet as Hernandez began blasting him with clean shots that rocked Viera. Hernandez began threatening with submission and continued landing massive strikes and dominated the second half of the round to take it 10-8 in round one.

In the second, Vieira was still tired but took Hernandez down, Hernandez shook him off the back and got back to his feet. Hernandez drilled him with a head kick and two right elbows before locking in a guillotine and he submitted Viera. Just unbelievable.

WINNER: Anthony Hernandez by guillotine at 1:53 of Round 2

This fight was originally scheduled for January but they noted that Hernandez got COVID and it was postponed. Hernandez was coming off a TKO loss to Kevin Holland last May and earns his second win in the UFC. Vieira was handed the first loss of his pro career.

MAKI PITOLO (13-7, 185) VS JULIAN MARQUEZ (7-2, 185) – MIDDLEWEIGHT

Pitolo displayed his boxing early going to the body and landed a takedown and went to half-guard. Pitolo attempted a neck crank before they got back to their feet and worked in the clinch. Marquez escaped and applied a standing guillotine that Pitolo escaped. Marquez landed a big shot at the end, but it was still Pitolo’s round.

The second round was a better display from Marquez but got too aggressive early and slipped, which Pitolo capitalized on. Pitolo had his back against the fence before they went to the ground. Each had their moments on top until Pitolo got the mount and controlled on top from half-guard for the rest. Pitolo is up 20-18.

Marquez was told by his corner he needed to finish the fight to win. Marquez was landing at his best rate of any round but was taken down and Pitolo threatened with a choke that Marquez escaped from. On the feet, Marquez starts unloading with shots and blasts Pitolo with a knee, went for a choke and turned into the D’Arce, and got the tap. Another huge come-from-behind win.

WINNER: Julian Marquez by D’Arce choke at 4:17 of Round 3 

This was a big return for Marquez after being out of action since July 2018. He cut a long promo with Joe Rogan trying to get a #UFCLoud campaign over and asked Miley Cyrus to be his Valentine. It was a little bit too much but you have to appreciate the effort to create a lasting impression.

RICKY SIMON (17-3, 145.5) VS BRIAN KELLEHER (22-11, 145.5) – FEATHERWEIGHT

This is the third attempt to make this fight, the two bantamweights are fighting at 145 pounds for this fight.

In the first round, Simon controlled the round with his takedowns and significant pressure on top. Simon worked hard for several head-and-arm chokes that couldn’t catch Kelleher. Kelleher was cut open from an elbow strike in the guard.

The second round saw Kelleher connect with several front kicks, but it was still Simon’s round. He displayed pressure against the fence and mixed in his striking. He landed a big right hand in the closing seconds. Kelleher kicked him low at the end of the round. I have Simon ahead 20-18.

It was more of the same in the third round with Simon on top of Kelleher near the fence. They got up and clinched against the cage with Simon never in any danger.

WINNER: Ricky Simon by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

It was Simon’s third consecutive win and a strong performance where he was never in trouble against a quality opponent. Simon looked very good at featherweight, but it appears this was a one-time deal because of the timing of putting this fight together. Simon had just fought on January 20th before turning around and taking this fight three weeks later.

Kelleher had won three of his previous four fights coming in.

KELVIN GASTELUM (16-6, 1 NC, 186) VS IAN HEINISCH (14-3, 185.5) – MIDDLEWEIGHT

Gastelum landed several takedowns with Heinisch constantly attempting a kimura when he would be taken down but never having the right positioning for maximum leverage. Gastelum would go to the back and mounted Heinisch in one instance and won the round.

The second round didn’t feature a lot of action but continued the rhythm of Gastelum shutting down the distance to clinch and work for takedowns to set up his grappling. Gastelum has already scored more takedowns within two rounds than any previous UFC fight he’s been in. I have Gastelum up 20-18.

The third round was the best of the three. Gastelum was picking away striking and continued with his takedowns. Heinisch reversed on the ground and got the back with his hooks in. Gastelum escaped and returned on top. In the closing seconds, each got another takedown but Gastelum edged out the round and won 30-27 on my card.

WINNER: Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

After three straight losses against tough competition, this was a much-needed win/performance from the TUF winner. Gastelum fought a smart fight that showcased various elements of his game against a good opponent and he got fifteen minutes inside the cage to draw from. The wrestling by Gastelum was a key part but also showing his ability to close the distance and limit Heinisch’s offense. It was his first win since May 2018 and felt like a weight was off his shoulders getting the victory.

MAYCEE BARBER (8-1, 126) VS ALEXA GRASSO (12-3, 125.5) – FLYWEIGHT

Round one saw Grasso the more relaxed of the two and scored with a left hook early in the fight. They fought against the fence where Barber cracked her with an elbow. During the busiest flurry of the round, each connected with a big right hand. I gave the round to Grasso.

They had a great second round with Grasso going in and out with her strikes before several powerful left hands found their mark on Barber. Barber connected with a kick to the body and got Grasso to the ground, but it was Grasso grabbing the arm and then working for a head-and-arm choke before taking Barber’s back and ending the round strong. Grasso should be up 20-18.

Barber had a great final round, but it wasn’t enough to win the fight. Barber scored a takedown and started landing big strikes. Back on the feet, Barber threw everything at Grasso and was landing with several as Grasso tried to clinch to kill her momentum. It was definitely Barber’s round but I have it 29-28 for Grasso.

WINNER: Alexa Grasso by unanimous decision (29-28 all)

This was a great performance from Grasso but Barber put up a great showing for herself in the final round. I feel Grasso has acclimated well to the flyweight division and is 2-0 at 125 pounds while improving to 5-3 while competing in the UFC. This was Barber’s first fight since January 2020 when she lost to Roxanne Modafferi and suffered a knee injury that forced her to be out of action for the rest of 2020.

KAMARU USMAN (17-1, 170) VS GILBERT BURNS (19-3, 170) – UFC WELTERWEIGHT TITLE

Burns opened the fight with a massive right hand that rocked Usman, and the champion was stunned. Burns delivered a knee down the middle to the body and then, threw a head kick with Burns going to his back after throwing it. It turned into Ali vs. Inoki for several minutes with Burns throwing kicks to the legs off his back. Back on their feet, Usman had his bearings back and was working his jab. 10-9 Burns

It was a role reversal in the second as Usman rocked Burns with an overhand right. Burns was wobbly and Usman attacked but Burns survived. Usman switched to Southpaw stance and started attacking with right-hand jabs. A big round for Usman. 10-9 Usman

The third round opened with Usman dropping him with a jab after the stance switch and drilled Burns with strikes on top. Burns tried to scramble but was put to his back and finished with strikes.

WINNER: Kamaru Usman by TKO at 0:34 of Round 3 

About John Pollock 5663 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.