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UFC 258: Kamaru Usman set to defend his welterweight belt against Gilbert Burns

Kamaru Usman (left); Gilbert Burns (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Gilbert Burns (right)
Johny Payne
ANALYST
Modified 05 Jan 2021, 07:16 IST
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Kamaru Usman is set to defend his UFC welterweight belt against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258.

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, a UFC welterweight title fight between reigning titleholder Kamaru Usman and challenger Gilbert Burns has been verbally agreed for UFC 258. The UFC 258 fight card is scheduled to take place on February 13, 2021.

The Usman vs. Burns matchup for the former’s UFC welterweight title was initially booked to take place at UFC 251 on July 12, 2020. However, an announcement was made on July 3 that Burns would not compete at the event as he’d contracted COVID-19.

Burns was subsequently replaced by Jorge Masvidal, who stepped in on short notice to take on Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title. The Usman vs. Masvidal matchup served as the headliner of UFC 251.

Usman ended up winning the fight via unanimous decision. Following this, the UFC was reportedly targeting the Usman vs. Burns match for UFC 256 (December 12, 2020). Regardless, this pairing once again fell apart as Usman withdrew from the fight in October 2020.

The MMA world consensus was that the UFC would eventually rebook the Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns UFC welterweight title fight. On that note, the fight has indeed been rebooked and will now take place at UFC 258 next month. As of this writing, the UFC is yet to announce this fight for UFC 258 officially.

Kamaru Usman looks to continue his winning ways in 2021 

Kamaru Usman (left); Gilbert Burns (right)
Kamaru Usman (left); Gilbert Burns (right)

From former interim UFC welterweight champion Colby Covington to BMF champion Jorge Masvidal, reigning UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has no shortage of challengers in the division.

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Usman’s lone career loss came in the second fight of his professional MMA career via first-round submission to Jose Caceres back in May of 2013. The Nigerian Nightmare hasn’t lost ever since and is undefeated in the UFC.

On the other hand, Gilbert Burns’ last loss came via first-round KO at the hands of Dan Hooker in July of 2018. His fight against Hooker was contested in the lightweight division.

Burns subsequently won a couple of fights at lightweight and then moved up to the welterweight division. Since moving to the welterweight division, Burns has impressively won four consecutive fights.

Burns’ most recent fight was a unanimous decision victory over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in May 2020. Needless to say, Kamaru Usman has a stiff test ahead of him against Burns at UFC 258.

Published 05 Jan 2021, 07:16 IST
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