The proposed welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns will now not take place at UFC 256 on December 12, as has been originally reported.
The bout was never officially attached to the December card but had been heavily linked to the event, with the UFC now understood to be targeting an early 2021 date for the 170-pound title showdown.
Brazil’s Burns earned his title shot after defeating former champion Tyron Woodley in Las Vegas earlier this year but was forced to surrender his showdown with Usman after he tested positive for Covid-19 in the lead-in to the fight. The UFC came to terms with Jorge Masvidal to take his place in a fight which Usman won by unanimous decision.
View this post on Instagram
UFC president Dana White has affirmed his commitment to Burns being the number one contender despite Colby Covington’s impressive win against Tyron Woodley last month.
The absence of Usman vs. Burns leaves just one other title fight on the UFC 256 card for now: Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson. The UFC likes to traditionally layer their end of year cards with talent and highly anticipated bouts, so it remains to be seen which direction the organisation will go with their matchmaking for the event but several high profile fighters have already suggested on social media that they would be available for that date.