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UFC Fight Night: Usman vs. Burns preview

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July 3rd, 2020

Fight Island is here, and the beaches will be stained with blood in a main event that could get violent in a hurry.

Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will face off against the streaking Gilbert Burns in the main event of this fascinating card, and it is a fight that can go down to the wire. BetAmerica has the call for the big bout scheduled for Saturday, July 11.

Sun, July 12 2020, 3:59 AM

Kamaru Usman

-240

VS

Gilbert Burns

+180

Burns could be in for a rough night

Burns’ recent run has bettors convinced he is a stern threat to one of the most dominant champions in the UFC. We’ve seen him earn his shot with some excellent performances, but he may be in for a rough night against the champ. Usman’s superior striking and excellent takedown skills could make things very hard for Burns.

Usman’s wrestling and conditioning immediately negate Burns’ ground game, his best path to victory. Usman is also the bigger puncher. While these two have trained alongside each other and may be more familiar with each other than we’re led to believe, the only way Burns can make any trouble is to smother Usman and limit his mobility.

Expect this fight to go the distance

The champ will enjoy a five-inch advantage in reach, can use that to keep the fight at a distance, and will jab away at Burns as he tries to close that gap. Once Burns starts to slow down his approach, Usman will open up more and use the ring to escape Burns’ return fire. There is little doubt this fight will go the distance, but Usman might be able to catch Burns with a counter that can put him on his back and in prime position for a ground-and-pound stoppage.

But we won't discount Burns so easily. He won’t outthink Usman, so he’ll be better suited to try to outwork his opponent. Coming forward and pushing Usman to retreat may sway the judges, even if it is not effective or pretty, and Usman can help him out by ignoring his leaky takedown defense and opting to jab-and-dash in the early rounds. Burns has looked solid in his last six wins, but he has to find another gear to pull an upset.

Usman vs. Burns won't be pretty

This fight might start tough and ugly in the early rounds, with Burns struggling to get Usman to respect his power and Usman utilizing his reach and speed. As the fight progresses, it will either result in an extended waiting game or Burns will have to start taking risks when he realizes he is outclassed.

By around the third round or so, Usman will have enough takedowns and dictate the offense to the point where he’ll be content to cruise to a decision win. It may not be pretty, but expect the champ to retain his title.

MMA free pick: Usman (-205)


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