UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (19-4-0) took the best shots of Gilbert Burns (18-1-0), and then eventually settled down and returned fire that went unanswered in the third round at UFC 258 Saturday night.

Burns started off fast, going right after the champion scoring with jabs and uppercuts that dazed Usman.

But Usman recovered, near the end of the round and in the second round, landed a right jab that stunned Burns. In the third and final round, Usman was in clinical mode, timing pinpoint strikes including another right that sent Burns to the deck again. Follow up strikes forced referee Herb Dean to call the bout at 34 seconds.

With the impressive win, Usman broke George St-Pierre’s 12-fight consecutive win streak in the welterweight division, while defending his title for the third time.

Burns suffered his fourth loss Saturday night and was visibly emotional after the fight, being consoled by his trainer in the octagon, while Usman watched on. They finally embraced in a show of sportsmanship.

“I got over-excited,” Burns said in the post-fight press conference. “I cannot make those mistakes. I just want to be like Robbie Lawler … he lost to Johny Hendricks and then got right back, became a champion.”

Usman, Alexander Hernandez, Polyana Viana, and Juan Marquez all earned performance of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus. There was no Fight of the Night awarded.

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS 

GABRIEL GREEN VS. PHILIP ROWE

WINNER: GABRIEL GREEN VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: PHILIP ROWE VIA TKO

Andrews: Good job by Green, using aggression and chopping down the legs of Rowe so he couldn’t get much of anything going.

UFC 258 PRELIMS 

ANDRE EWELL VS. CHRIS GUTIERREZ 

WINNER: CHRIS GUTTIERREZ VIA UD (30-26, 29-28, 29-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ANDRE EWELL VIA UD

Andrews: Ewell’s 8-inch reach advantage didn’t factor much in the bout. Couldn’t get the heel hook. Meanwhile, Guttierrez kept the pressure on him and fought his fight.

POLYANA VIANA VS. MALLORY MARTIN 

WINNER: POLYANA VIANA VIA SUBMISSION (ARMBAR) R1 3:!8

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MALLORY MARTIN VIA UD

Andrews: Martin made a big mistake by not keeping the fight standing as I mentioned and Viana secured the tap, alternating between the triangle and the armbar. Good win.

#13 BELAL MUHAMMAD VS. DHIEGO LIMA 

WINNER: BELAL MUHAMMAD VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BELAL MUHAMMAD VIA UD 

Andrews: Muhammad did what Muhammad does.

RODOLFO VIERA VS. ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ 

WINNER: ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R2 1:53

ANDREWS PREDICTION: RODOLFO VIERA VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Boy, did Hernandez keep the fight standing. Almost got tapped in the first, but comes back to wobble the BJJ champ and then the excellent guillotine!

MAIN CARD 

MAKI PITOLO VS. JULIAN MARQUEZ 

WINNER: JUAN MARQUEZ VIA SUBMISSION (ANACONDA CHOKE) R3 4:17

ANDREWS PREDICTION: JUAN MARQUEZ VIA TKO

Andrews: Pitolo fought like he was desparate for a win and nearly got it by decision. But Marquez makes the big comeback with the tap. Great fight.

RICKY SIMON VS. BRIAN KELLEHER 

WINNER: RICKY SIMON VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: RICKY SIMON VIA UD 

Andrews: Simon just outworked Kelleher. Good win.

KELVIN GASTELUM VS. IAN HEINISCH

WINNER: KELVIN GASTELUM VIA UD (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KELVIN GASTELUM VIA UD

Andrews: Gastelum’s flabby-looking weigh-in fooled many, including myself. He looked good, no cardio problems and fought intelligently. Good win.

#10 MAYCEE BARBER VS. #15 ALEXA GRASSO 

WINNER: ALEXA GRASSO VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXA GRASSO VIA UD

Andrews: Grasso held off Barber at the end. Good win for Grasso, but she needs to keep improving.

MAIN EVENT

KAMARU USMAN VS. GILBERT BURNS 

WINNER: KAMARU USMAN VIA  TKO (PUNCHES) R3 0:34

ANDREWS PREDICTION: KAMARU USMAN VIA UD

JOHN SALVITTI PREDICTION: KAMARU USMAN VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! Burns did the right thing going right after Usman and things looked scary early. But with the heart of a champion, Usman settled down and turned the tables. Very impressive stuff from both fighters and the Nigerian Nightmare sent a big statement to the rest of the division tonight.

@kenaiandrews

UFC 258: Kamaru Usman fends off and then dismantles Gilbert Burns