The co-main event of UFC 264 features an epic showdown in the Welterweight division where #2 ranked Gilbert Burns takes on #4 ranked Stephen Thompson.
The Brazilian mixed martial artist, Gilbert Burns is one of the best submission grapplers out there in the division, who through his initial years in the UFC, fought in the Lightweight division before moving into the Welterweight division where he found great momentum. He won four consecutive fights including a win against former Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. This winning streak earned him a title shot at UFC 258 against Kamaru Usman, which the Nigerian won the fight via TKO.
In Stephen Thompson’s long career in UFC, he has proved to be an accomplished striker. No one can forget his epic victories against fighters like Rory McDonald, Robert Whittaker, and Jorge Masvidal. He took on Tyron Woodley for the Welterweight title at UFC 205 where both the fighters gave it all as the fight ended as a draw after five rounds. The duo met again for a rematch at UFC 209 where Woodley came out strong and took the win by unanimous decision. Stephen Wonderboy Thompson remains the only fighter ranked in the top 5 of the welterweight division who is yet to face Kamaru Usman which puts him in title contention if he wins this fight.
Prediction: Burns to win via Unanimous decision
The Wonderboy will look to use his 4” reach advantage and set traps for his opponents but the Brazilian’s pressure should help him close the distance between them. Another advantage for Thompson is his Karate style stance where he keeps his hands low and strikes in disguise but this could also cause a problem for him as he is completely vulnerable to Gilbert’s heavy strikes. Burns will try to maximize his wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills to take Thompson to the canvas and finish the fight right there.
[Image Credit: Gilbert “Durinho” Burns]