But Burns was simply better.
Burns scored knockdowns in each of the first two rounds and a takedown in the third and cruised to victory at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. The judges’ scores were a pair of 30-27s and a questionable 29-28.
Burns set the tone for the fight in the opening round by dropping Aubin-Mercier with a big left hook. He got Aubin-Mercier’s back and worked for a submission, but OAM managed to fend him off until the horn sounded.
The second round was the only one in which Aubin-Mercier didn’t find himself with Burns all over him on the mat, and he tried to pick up the pace in the standup. But Burns again dropped his opponent, this time with a right to the temple.
In the third, Burns scored a takedown about two minutes in and promptly took Aubin-Mercier’s back, going at different times for a kneeler and a rear-naked choke. To his credit, Aubin-Mercier got back to his feet late and managed to go for broke in a final flurry, but it was too little, too late.
With the win, Burns (14-4), a former World Jiu-Jitsu Championships gold medalist, has now won three of his past four. Aubin-Mercier’s second straight defeated dropped his record to 11-4.