It’s been a long time coming but Gilbert Burns will finally get his crack at UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
Burns, winner of six straight fights at 170-pounds, had been expected to tangle with Usman on more than one occasions last year but a a variety of reasons, not least the Coronavirus pandemic, contrived to repeatedly delay the bout in 2021. However, as was confirmed on Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night card on ‘Fight Island’, the two top welterweights will face off next month at UFC 258 on February 13.
— UFC (@ufc) January 20, 2021
Brazilian submission expert Burns was thrust into world title contention after he resoundingly defeated former champ Tyron Woodley last May, a fight which came shortly after a first-round TKO win against compatriot Demian Maia. However, and as noted above, the title bout wouldn’t take place in 2020.
Usman, meanwhile, is undefeated since 2013 and has defeated all comers at 170-pounds recently, recording wins against the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington and Woodley in the past 18 months or so. The submission skills of Burns (as well as his ever-developing power on the feet) could potentially cause the champion some problems but Usman will be heartened by his clear-cut win against Maia, another excellent submission artist, more than two years ago.
Numerous bouts for the UFC 258 card have yet to be revealed, with just a women’s flyweight contest between Maycee Barner and Alexa Grasso confirmed so far. Several others are expected to be announced in coming days, such as Belal Muhammad vs. Dhiego Lima and Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera.