At the highest level, mixed martial arts can be a game of inches. One false move could equip a fighter with the advantage they need to win a fight. Gaining the upper hand before the fight even begins happens with the correct preparation. UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman understands the importance of training with absolute focus. This is why Usman has decided to change fight camps for his upcoming title fight against Gilbert Burns, who normally trains at the same gym as Kamaru.
After a major win over Tyron Woodley, Gilbert Burns was quite pleased with his performance. Although he wasn’t able to get a finish, he was able to showcase his dominance over a fighter who once held the strap. Speaking to the media, Burns called for a title shot against his training partner Kamaru Usman.
Now, Burns will get his wish as he takes on Usman at UFC 251. While the pair normally both train at Sanford MMA with Henri Hooft, Usman has decided to switch camps for the contest. So, he’ll be taking his talents to Elevation Fight Team in Denver, Colorado. As for Hooft, he will remain neutral and not train either Usman or Burns for the match.
Usman on Switching Camps Against Gilbert Burns
For now, Burns has elected to remain at Sanford MMA. Even though he won’t get the expert guidance from Hooft. Usman, however, spoke with ESPN about the change in camps.
“I think eventually I would have changed things up anyway. We had a lot of welterweights at that gym,” said Usman. ”
At some point, when you’re training with these guys on a daily basis and you’re the champion of the world, these guys know you in and out and if they get the better of you one day, they’re licking their chops thinking it’s their time. A little separation from that is good. It keeps that element of surprise because these guys feel like they know you.”
Gaining an Advantage
With the change in camps, Usman is expecting to get more out of more individualized training. However, switching camps late in the career of a fighter hasn’t always worked out in their favor. Do fans believe Usman’s tactical switch will benefit him vs Burns?