UFC 258 to feature Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns welterweight title fight
Let’s see if the old “third time’s a charm” saying holds true. That’s what everyone has to be thinking when it comes to UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defending his belt opposite Gilbert Burns at UFC 258.
The bout has been verbally agreed to as the UFC 258 headliner on Feb. 13. The booking was first reported by ESPN. It marks the third attempt at booking the bout.
Usman was originally slated to defend against Burns at UFC 251 on July 12, 2020. Burns had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. He was replaced by Jorge Masvidal, whom Usman defeated by unanimous decision.
The bout was then being considered for the UFC 256 headliner on Dec. 12, the promotion’s final pay-per-view event of the year. Usman, however, pulled out of the bout citing the need for more time to recover from undisclosed injuries.
UFC 256 was eventually headlined by flyweight champion Deveison Figueiredo putting his belt on the line for the third time in three weeks. He fought Brandon Moreno to a majority draw, retaining his title.
With Usman and Burns ready to compete, officials have penciled in the bout as the UFC 258 headliner on Feb. 13, which will likely take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Usman’s record currently sits at 17-1. The Nigerian-born U.S. citizen is undefeated in his 12 UFC bouts, including winning the welterweight championship and defending it twice.
Burns (19-3) is currently on a five-fight winning streak that includes victories over the likes of Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, and Gunnar Nelson.
The UFC kicks off its 2021 schedule with three events over the course of an eight-day span on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Kattar is the first event of the stint on Jan. 16. That is followed by UFC Fight Night: Magny vs. Chiesa on Jan. 20, a rare Wednesday event. The third round on Fight Island culminates with UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2, Conor McGregor’s return in a rematch opposite Dustin Poirier.