Kamaru Usman Expected to Defend Welterweight Title Against Gilbert Burns at UFC 258

By Tristen Critchfield Jan 4, 2021

A welterweight title tilt between reigning champion Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns is in the works for UFC 258.

ESPN has reported that both Usman and Burns have verbally agreed to the bout, though contracts have not yet been signed. UFC 258 takes place on Feb. 13 at an as yet to be announced location. Combate initially reported the fight.

Usman vs. Burns has already been scheduled on two previous occasion. A positive COVID-19 test for Burns nixed their bout at UFC 251 in July, and then the rebooking at UFC 256 on Dec. 12 fell through when Usman withdrew to recover from lingering injuries.

Usman enters the matchup on a 16-bout professional winning streak that includes 12 victories within the Las Vegas-based promotion. “The Nigerian Nightmare” claimed 170-pound gold with a dominant five-round verdict over Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 and has since defended the crown with a fifth-round TKO of Colby Covington at UFC 245 and a decision against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251.

Burns, meanwhile, is riding the momentum of a six-fight winning streak in UFC competition. After beginning his promotional tenure at lightweight, “Durinho” has impressed at 170 pounds, posting victories against Woodley, Demian Maia, Gunnar Nelson and Alexey Kunchenko in his new weight class. Since 2017, Burns has won eight of nine Octagon appearances, with his only defeat coming at the hands of Dan Hooker at UFC 226.

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