Per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, one of the more anticipated matchups of the winter is off. According to Helwani, the UFC 256 headliner between Kamaru Usman (17-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3) is off. The word from Helwani is that the UFC champion needs a little more time.
Usman did get injured in his last fight against Jorge Masvidal that came at UFC 251. Usman was thought to be all cleared for this fight, but upon returning to training, it appears that the champion is going to need additional time to prepare for the event.
As of now, the UFC is still planning on this being the title fight. However, the fight is going to be pushed back to either the January or February card. This would line up even better with the proposed title eliminator between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington.
Perhaps, the UFC could pivot to having Covington and Masvidal fight on the December card. Masvidal has come out and said in the past that he wanted to fight again before the year is over. Covington has also expressed interest in getting back in there.
The Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns UFC welterweight title is off on Dec. 12, per sources. It doesn’t have a new date at the moment, but current talk is January of February. Usman needs a little more time. No new main event yet for UFC 256.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 5, 2020
UFC 256 without Usman – Burns
As things currently stand, UFC 256 still has a title fight. The GOAT, Amanda Nunes, is scheduled to defend her featherweight title against Megan Anderson. For now, that title fight will slot into the main event spot. However, that’s not guaranteed to stay there.
The UFC could look at potentially having the matchup between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier headline that card. McGregor initially asked Poirier to fight for charity on December 12th which is the same night as 256.
Dana White came out last week and said that the promotion was waiting to hear back from McGregor on the potential fight inside the UFC. It wouldn’t be a bad idea in my opinion for the promotion to do everything they can to either make Masvidal – Covington or McGregor – Poirier the UFC 256 headliner.