Gilbert Burns’ first stoppage win in his move up to welterweight came in impressive fashion.
The former UFC title challenger stopped legendary grappler Demian Maia in the first round of their co-main event at UFC Fight Night 170 in March 2020. It was the last event the UFC put on before briefly halting operations due to the pandemic.
Burns (20-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) put away Maia after dropping him with a big left hook, then folloowed up with ground-and-pound to leave the referee no choice but to stop the fight. Burns won a $50,000 bonus for Performance of the Night.
You can watch Burns’ signature win over Maia in the video above.
Burns returns to action April 9 when he takes on undefeated rising star Khamzat Chimaev on the main card of UFC 273 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Burns will attempt to shut down the hype around Chimaev and insert himself back into the welterweight championship picture. He unsuccessfully challenged Kamaru Usman for the title in February 2020, but bounced back in July 2021 with a unanimous decision win over Stephen Thompson. The 35-year-old will try to make it two consecutive wins while he pursues a rematch with the champ.
Chimaev (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) will be fighting to prove he’s truly the next big thing. Chimaev has burst onto the scene in the UFC and finished all his opponents by stoppage in lopsided fashion. He has absorbed just one significant strike in four total octagon appearances.