Ahead of his UFC 251 headliner opposite teammate, Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns, defending welterweight champion, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman is expected to take his fight camp to Denver – under renowned head-coach, Trevor Wittman.
Usman and Burns both ply their trade under striking ace Henri Hooft in South Florida, but for this all-Sanford MMA clash – the defending gold holder is set to hone his craft under Wittman, aside from Elevation Fight Team. While Burns remains under the Sanford MMA banner for his premier championship clash – usual coach, the above-noted Hooft, will also recede from either’s preparation, according to a report from ESPN staff writer, Brett Okamoto.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Burns earned his first championship tilt under the promotion’s scrutiny, via a one-sided shutout against former longtime titleholder, Tyron Woodley at UFC Fight Night Vegas in May. The victory marked Burns’ fourth since his return to welterweight last August – adding to wins over the then-undefeated, Alexey Kunchenko, and fellow grappling talents, Gunnar Nelson, and Demian Maia.
Usman will attempt to make the second successful defence of his 170-pound throne, following an exciting back-and-forth – both in the build-up, and come fight night, opposite Colby Covington at UFC 245 in December. The 33-year-old would split the difference in the hotly contested affair, with a late fifth-round knockout.
Wittman, who scored the World MMA Coach of the Year award back in 2017 – has coached the likes of current interim lightweight best, Justin Gaethje, former strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, former light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans, one-time interim heavyweight best, Shane Carwin, and former Strikeforce 170-pound titleholder, Nate Marquardt. Wittman is expected to be joined by Jorge Santiago, Kamaru’s brother, Mohammed, and possibly the aforementioned, Gaethje in Usman’s corner.