A fight between UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns is once again on the books. According to ESPN, the two are set to collide in the main event of UFC 258, scheduled for February 13, 2021. Though the bout is yet to be made official by the UFC, reports claim that Usman and Burns have verbally agreed to the terms.
Gilbert Burns is currently on a six-fight winning streak, two of them coming in early 2020. He was originally scheduled to fight the champion at UFC 251, but he tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in Jorge Masvidal replacing him. The fight was then booked for UFC 256, but this time Kamaru Usman was forced to withdraw due to injury. The two fighters were teammates at Sanford MMA, but after the UFC 251 clash was announced, Usman moved to Denver to train with Trevor Wittman, who trains fighters like Justin Gaethje and Rose Namajunas.
The 33-year-old won the welterweight title in March 2019, defeating former king Tyron Woodley. He then defended his title twice, with the first coming against bitter rival Colby Covington at UFC 245. While Covington put up an impressive performance, Kamaru Usman came out on top via KO in the fifth round, breaking Covington’s jaw in the process. During the post-fight conference, Dana White praised the fighters, hailing Usman vs Covington as one of the greatest welterweight bouts in UFC history.
He then fought Masvidal at UFC 251, which was also Usman’s only bout of 2020. The bout drew some criticism for being dull as the champion dominated from the start to the finish, ultimately winning via unanimous decision.