Belal Muhammad put on a clinic against Gilbert Burns in the UFC 288 co-main event on Saturday night, winning by unanimous decision and extending his unbeaten streak to 10 fights. But while Muhammad was busy making a statement in the welterweight division, the UFC was busy making a joke at the expense of Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Clippers guard, and former NBA MVP.
During the live broadcast of the fight, the UFC displayed a graphic titled “DC’S KEYS TO VICTORY”, which featured three tips from UFC commentator and former champion Daniel Cormier. The tips were: “Close the Distance”, “Secure Takedowns” and “Don’t Be Russell Westbrook”.
Cormier was poking fun at Westbrook’s history of playoff disappointments. Especially the one in 2016 when he and Kevin Durant were one game away from reaching the NBA Finals with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but lost three straight games to the Golden State Warriors.
Cormier suggested that Burns had to avoid a ‘Westbrook failure’ synonymous with folding under pressure, and instead follow his game plan of closing the distance and securing takedowns against Muhammad.
But Burns failed to execute that game plan, as Muhammad kept him at a distance with his jabs and kicks and stuffed most of his takedown attempts. Muhammad also landed some powerful punches that hurt Burns several times and won four out of five rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
UFC’s jab at Russell Westbrook sparks reactions from NBA fans
UFC’s jab at Westbrook did not go unnoticed by NBA fans, who took to Twitter to share their opinions. Some fans found it hilarious and applauded UFC for their clever troll, while others felt it was disrespectful and unnecessary. Here are some reactions from Twitter:
Russell Westbrook has not responded to the UFC’s diss yet, but he is known for being a fierce competitor and not backing down from anyone. Meanwhile, Muhammad will have to wait and see who’s the next opponent in his quest for UFC gold.
The current welterweight champion is Leon Edwards, who is expected to defend his title against Colby Covington later this year. Muhammad has already fought Edwards once, but the bout ended in a no-contest due to an accidental eye poke. Muhammad has expressed his interest in fighting Edwards again or taking on any other top contender in the division.
Ankush Singh is an Editor for FirstSportz. He specializes in NBA news and articles. He enjoys watching the game because it is full of action, drama, and thrill. He likes to spice up his sports stories with humor and flair, but also with facts and accuracy. His goal is to make the readers laugh and learn about the latest NBA buzz.
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