UFC booking Stephen Thompson – Gilbert Burns

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a major matchup in the welterweight division. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto this evening that Gilbert Burns (19-4) and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1) have verbally agreed to face each other.

Per White, the matchup will take place at UFC 264. Earlier today, we learned that Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor had both signed on to headline the card on July 10th.

Given the magnitude of this welterweight matchup, it will likely serve as the co-main event on July 10th. Wonderboy has been wanting to fight the elites of the division again and he will get his chance at UFC 264.

Stephen Thompson took on arguably the two scariest young contenders at welterweight in his last two fights in Geoff Neal and Vicente Luque. Wonderboy dominated both of them and completely outclassed them on the feet.

After both of those wins, Wonderboy made it clear that he didn’t want to be the UFC‘s gatekeeper at 170 pounds. He’s been calling for a fight with Leon Edwards, but in my opinion, he’s getting one better in getting a shot at Gilbert Burns.

Potential UFC title eliminator?

After Gilbert Burns moved to the UFC’s welterweight division, he looked like a destroyer. Burns had defeated every fighter who stepped in front of him and that earned him a title shot at UFC 258 against Kamaru Usman.

When the fight started, it looked like Burns was going to have his crowning moment. Burns used his speed and power to drop Usman in the first round. However, after that moment, things went downhill.

Usman was able to regain his composure and ended up dominating the fight. The UFC welterweight champion stopped Burns early in the third round. Since that loss, Burns has been itching to get back into the cage.

This is a fantastic matchup at UFC 254. The welterweight division is in a very unique spot, but this could serve as a potential title eliminator. Either way, whoever wins, is going to be squarely in the discussion for the next crack at the championship.

UFC: Gilbert Burns wants Colby Covington or Michael Chiesa next

UFC 258 was the night that Gilbert Burns (19-4) had been waiting for. Burns finally got his chance to become welterweight champion and he got to face off against his former teammate, Kamaru Usman (17-1).

Originally, the two men were supposed to fight at UFC 251. However, a week before the fight, Burns tested positive for COVID and the fight was cancelled. Jorge Masvidal (35-14) ended up getting the shot against Usman.

After Usman won at UFC 251, the fight between him and Burns was tentatively scheduled for December. However, Usman needed additional training time due to some lingering injuries and Burns was asked again to wait.

Finally, last month, Burns got his shot. The fight couldn’t have started any better for Burns. Burns landed a massive shot that briefly put down and hurt the welterweight champion. It looked like it was going to be the crowning moment for Burns.

However, after that big shot, the fight drastically changed. Usman regained his composure and Burns looked uncharacteristically tired. The UFC champion started peppering Burns with power shots and ultimately put him down for good in the third round.

UFC return for Gilbert Burns

Gilbert Burns laid in the cage and cried after the referee called a stop to the action at UFC 258. All of the waiting just to get off to a fast start before gassing and having Usman put him away in the third round.

It’s no surprise that Gilbert Burns is ready to get back into the octagon. Burns’ manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto today that he’s ready to go. The Burns camp has asked the UFC for a fight against either Colby Covington (16-2) or Michael Chiesa (18-4) next.

Covington said this week that he’s wanting a UFC title shot next. However, Abdelaziz (who also reps Kamaru Usman) said that Covington needs to win again before getting a rematch. Of course, this should sit well with Covington considering that Jorge Masvidal is getting an immediate rematch. 

I don’t see Covington being likely for Burns. I do really like the idea of fighting Michael Chiesa. Since moving to the UFC’s welterweight division, Chiesa is 4-0. Chiesa, like Gilbert Burns, used to struggle to make lightweight and has turned his career around at 170 pounds.

Chiesa just defeated Neil Magny back in January and has been nursing some injuries. However, he should be ready to go for his next matchup soon. I think this is likely going to be where the UFC goes. The fight makes perfect sense given where both men currently are.

UFC: Kamaru Usman is not on the same level of Georges St. Pierre yet

Recency bias is a huge thing in the UFC. We see it all the time where a fighter will put on an amazing performance and people are quick to say either it’s the greatest performance of all time or a fighter belongs in the GOAT conversation.

It’s always important to take a deep breath and take a step back after those incredible performances. Last Saturday at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his welterweight championship for the third time. He finished Gilbert Burns (19-4) in the second round.

Kamaru Usman looked sensational and he showed off that he’s the total package. He’s got incredible grappling and now his striking has progressed to being some of the best in the division. After the fight was over, there was already talk about where Kamaru Usman ranks against the greats.

Part of the reason for this is the fact that Usman’s win on Saturday was his thirteenth straight victory in the UFC‘s welterweight division. That win broke the previous all time record held by Georges St. Pierre (26-2).

GSP is widely considered to be either the greatest of all time or on the short list. His reign in the UFC was truly something special and it’s even more remarkable considering that he walked away at 32 years old. One year younger than Kamaru Usman is now.

Sure, GSP came back and won the middleweight title at UFC 217. However, his welterweight reign came to a close at just 32 years old when he decided to walk away from the sport. Who knows what GSP could’ve done if he would have kept going back in 2013 and stayed motivated.

Is the UFC champ on the same level as GSP?

After Saturday night, there were some people that have staked the claim that Kamaru Usman is on the same level as the UFC hall of famer, Georges St. Pierre. A big point to that argument, as Daniel Cormier said this week, is the competition level.

The MMA game has evolved so much just in the last ten years. Fighters now are better than ever and some believe that the stiffer competition should give Usman more of a bump. Frankly, I agree with that statement.

However, it’s important to remember that Usman just completed his third title defense. Yes, he’s won 13 in a row in the division, but he’s only defended his title three times. There’s something to the pressure of title fights regardless of competition. At his peak, GSP defended the welterweight title nine times.

Overall, St. Pierre was 13-2 in title fights between welterweight and middleweight. In my opinion, the two greatest fighters in UFC history are Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre. Their body of work cannot be denied and they deserve those spots on the mountain.

Yes, the competition is better than ever now. However, Kamaru Usman has more work to do before he’s on the same level as GSP. Will it take him nine title defenses to get there? I don’t believe so because of the competition level. However, he definitely needs more than three.

UFC’s Colby Covington on potential Leon Edwards fight: ‘This isn’t charity hour’

A week ago, there was a clear plan for the UFC‘s welterweight division. Leon Edwards (18-3) was going to fight Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) in March. The promotion was also working on Colby Covington (16-2) and Jorge Masvidal (35-14).

UFC 258 was headlined by the welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman (18-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-4). Everything seemed to be setting up for Edwards/Chimaev to fight for the belt next with Covington/Masvidal fighting the winner after they coach The Ultimate Fighter.

However, all changed when Khamzat Chimaev had to pull out of the Edwards fight. After that happened, the UFC starting switching their plans. Dana White came out and said the promotion was looking at booking Leon Edwards – Colby Covington. 

After UFC 258, Usman called for a fight with Jorge Masvidal. That fight and the opportunity to coach The Ultimate Fighter seems to be on the table now. However, Covington isn’t a fan of how this is all shaking out.

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, the UFC couldn’t get Masvidal to agree to coaching TUF alongside Covington. He’d fight him, but he didn’t want to coach. That’s where that fell apart, and now Covington is being offered Edwards. He told Submission Radio that he’s not a fan of that option.

What will the UFC do?

“Leon Scott (Edwards) hasn’t earned anything boys. I’m in the Colby Covington Incorporated Championship PPV Business. I’m not in the Leon Scott charity business. This isn’t charity hour,” Covington said to submission radio.

In terms of rankings, a fight between Covington and Edwards does make sense for the UFC. However, I can see where Covington is coming from. Covington fought Usman closer than anyone else has in his recent run.

On top of that, Covington is also coming off of a dominant win over for champion Tyron Woodley. In reality, he has a very strong case for being the next man to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title.

However, with the champion wanting to fight Masvidal, it appears that Covington will have to wait. The UFC is likely going to keep pushing for the Edwards fight and we should know soon if that fight is a real option or not.

What’s next for Kamaru Usman after UFC 258?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Kamaru Usman (18-1) defended his welterweight title against Gilbert Burns (19-4). It was such an intriguing matchup because of the rise of Gilbert Burns and the fact that these two men used to be training partners.

The fight didn’t start well for Usman. Usman was hurt badly in the opening exchanges and Burns went all out trying to get a finish. However, Usman remained composed during the storm of Burns. Once that storm was over, the fight started to flip.

In the second round, Usman started picking Burns apart. Usman’s jab looked incredible and he ended up dropping Burns a couple of times in the second round. The finish was right there for the UFC champion.

In the third round, a power jab sat Burns down for good. Usman followed up with shots and the ref called a stop to the action. A massive win and a massive statement from the UFC‘s welterweight champion.

What’s next after UFC 258?

After the fight was over, there was one name on the mind of the UFC welterweight champion. That name is Jorge Masvidal (35-14). Masvidal and Usman fought back at UFC 251 on short-notice and Usman won by decision.

Usman said in his post-fight interview that he wants Masvidal to get a full camp so he can finish him. The UFC had been trying to book Masvidal and Colby Covington against each other and make them the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter.

However, it now appears that the UFC is going to switch things up. As of now, it appears that the promotion is going to book the rematch with Masvidal and Usman with them serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter.

Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but it appears that the rematch between Masvidal and Usman is next. It’s the biggest fight in terms of dollar signs for Usman so it’s not a huge surprise to see him want to get in there again with Gamebred.

After falling short at UFC 258, what’s next for Gilbert Burns?

This past Saturday at UFC 258, Gilbert Burns (19-4) finally got his shot at Kamaru Usman (18-1). Burns was originally supposed to fight for the title back in July of last year, but a positive COVID test prevented the fight from happening.

Then, the two were supposed to fight at UFC 256 in December. However, Usman needed more time to recover after sustaining injuries in his last fight. The two finally got their chance to see who was better at UFC 258.

The fight couldn’t have started better for Gilbert Burns. Burns’ speed was blistering and he hurt Usman bad in the opening exchanges. However, Burns got overzealous in going for the kill and it seemed to drain him a bit.

After Burns couldn’t put the champion away, he appeared to be fatigued from an adrenaline dump. Usman started to go to work after that point. With a piston-like jab, Usman started beating up the challenger in the second round.

Between the second and third rounds at UFC 258, Burns was dropped three times before the referee called a stop to the action. Burns was extremely emotional in the octagon after the crushing loss. So after falling short on Saturday, what’s next for Gilbert Burns?

What’s next after UFC 258?

Everything in the UFC’s welterweight division has seemingly turned on it’s head. A week ago, the promotion had Khamzat Chimaev – Leon Edwards booked and they were working on Jorge Masvidal – Colby Covington for The Ultimate Fighter.

However, after the Chimaev – Edwards fight fell through, Dana White said that the UFC is looking at booking Covington – Edwards. With that, it appears that Jorge Masvidal (35-14) is going to get the next title shot after Kamaru Usman called him out on Saturday. 

With knowing these new directions, where does that leave Gilbert Burns? Well, if Colby Covington (16-2) and Leon Edwards (18-3) do fight in March, Burns could take on the loser in his next fight. Perhaps even the winner depending on how the title fight timeline shakes up.

A couple of additional options would be a fight with Michael Chiesa (18-4) or Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1). Those are the opponents that make the most sense for Burns. Gilbert Burns isn’t going away and he’s perhaps only just a win or two away from getting another title shot.

UFC: After post-fight callout, Jorge Masvidal could be next for Kamaru Usman per Dana White

Kamaru Usman (18-1) was simply brilliant at UFC 258. After getting hurt in the opening exchanges by Gilbert Burns (19-4), Usman started going to work on the challenger. Behind a beautiful jab and pressure, Usman was able to break Gilbert Burns.

In the second round, the UFC champion dropped Burns a few times. In the third round, Burns was dropped again by Usman which led to the end of the fight. Usman was fired up after the fight and demanded that people put some respect on his name.

In his post-fight interview, there was only one name on his mind. That name was Jorge Masvidal (35-14). Masvidal and Usman fought back at UFC 251 in July and Usman won the fight by decision.

Burns was originally supposed to fight Usman that night. However, COVID cancelled that fight. Usman and Masvidal agreed to fight on six days notice. Masvidal has maintained that he would beat Usman if he had a full camp and that hasn’t sat well with the UFC champion.

Usman told Joe Rogan after the fight that “Street Jesus” could have a full camp and he wants to finish him. At the post-fight press conference, Dana White seemed to be interested in the idea.

Will the UFC make it happen?

“If that’s the fight he (Usman) wants. That’s the fight Masvidal wants and I’m sure the people would like to see it too,” White said. Yesterday, White had mentioned that he was into the idea of having Leon Edwards and Colby Covington fight to be the number one contender.

If that fight were to take place, Masvidal wouldn’t have an opponent. At the moment, Usman doesn’t have a clear challenger so the fight does make sense in theory. Also, White has always maintained that he will make the fights that UFC fans want to see.

Given the star power of Jorge Masvidal, I think it’s safe to say that the rematch would be massive. We know that’s the fight Masvidal wants and if Usman is set on it, I think the UFC is going to move in that direction. It’ll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds at welterweight.

Kamaru Usman stops Gilbert Burns at UFC 258

In the main event of UFC 258, the welterweight title was on the line. The Nigerian Nightmare, Kamaru Usman (17-1), was set to defend his title against his former teammate and top contender, Gilbert Burns (19-3).

If you were going to build the perfect opponent for Kamaru Usman, it would be Gilbert Burns. Burns is a world champion in Jiu Jitsu and he has incredibly fast and powerful strikes on the feet. Since moving to the UFC‘s welterweight division, he’s looked like a killer.

Burns is undefeated at welterweight and he’s earned his shot at the title. While Burns has looked sensational, he had a tall mountain to climb tonight. Heading into his third title defense, Kamaru Usman’s name is already being mentioned with the all-time greats.

Usman’s relentless style and incredible pressure have made him a force in the UFC. He’s started his career inside the octagon at 12-0 and he was looking to tie Georges St. Pierre’s record of consecutive wins with a successful title defense at UFC 258.

UFC 258 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 258 main event got underway with no touch of the gloves after an intense staredown. Burns pushes forward immediately with big shots. Usman looked composed on the outside. Big body kick lands for Gilbert Burns.

A massive right hand drops Usman and Burns is all over him. The speed of Gilbert Burns is astonishing. Usman has regained his composure but he eats a head kick. However, Burns slips and lands on his back.

Usman was hesitant to jump in to the jiu jitsu champion’s guard. The UFC champion looked recovered and he kept throwing thigh kicks to the downed Burns. Burns gets back up and immediately lands a big knee.

Usman was moving forward with his own pressure. A nice left hook lands for Burns that Usman counters with a jab. A big low kick lands for the champ. The pace of Gilbert Burns has slowed significantly.

Big right hand lands for Kamaru Usman. A nice jab from the UFC champion lands. A big combination lands for Burns just before the round ends. Great first round that I give to Gilbert Burns.

Round 2

Usman looked much fresher in between rounds. However, Burns opened with more pressure in the second round. Another nice jab lands for the UFC champion. The jab is keeping Burns on the outside.

A nice low kick lands from Gilbert Burns. The jab of Usman is really doing damage in the second round. Gilbert Burns has slowed significantly in the second round. The UFC champ is finding his groove in the second.

However, a right hand from Burns staggers Usman. Burns turned up the pressure, but Usman stayed composed. A big shot from Usman backs Burns up against the fence. A massive right hand drops Burns and Usman is teeing off.

Burns was staggering all over the cage as the UFC champion was teeing off. Another big jab lands for Usman. Burns is getting lit up in the second round. A jab drops Burns again and the UFC champion was dominating the round.

One minute left in this big second round. Burns looked very wobbly on his feet. Another stinging shot lands for Usman. The second round comes to a close and it’s all even after two in this title fight.

Round 3

Burns looked to be in a lot of trouble before the third at UFC 258. Gilbert Burns took the center to start the third round. A nice leg kick lands for Gilbert Burns, but Kamaru Usman drops him again. A few follow up shots and this one is over. Masterful performance from the champ.

Kamaru Usman def. Gilbert Burns by TKO – Round 3

UFC 258 Preview: Kamaru Usman – Gilbert Burns

Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC 258, we will finally get to see the highly anticipated welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman (17-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3). The former teammates are on a collision course to prove who’s the best welterweight in the UFC.

Kamaru Usman truly lives up to his nickname inside the octagon. The Nigerian Nightmare has terrorized the welterweight division since making his UFC debut back in 2015. Usman is a perfect 12-0 inside the octagon.

Outside of Colby Covington, nobody has even been competitive with Kamaru Usman inside the octagon. Between his pressure, his strength, and his elite grappling control, nobody has been able to stop The Nigerian Nightmare.

At UFC 258, Usman will be going for his third title defense in the welterweight division. His opponent is going to be an extremely familiar face. Gilbert Burns was one of Kamaru Usman’s teammates and lead training partners for years.

The two men helped each other sharpen their skills outside of the cage. Burns was originally a lightweight in the UFC, but he struggled there. Since moving to welterweight, he’s looked like an absolute killer.

Burns is riding a six-fight winning streak heading into UFC 258. He is a world champion in BJJ and he has incredibly fast hands. Combine that with his power and you have someone poised to give Kamaru Usman his biggest challenge yet.

UFC 258 Prediction

This fight is so incredibly fascinating. First and foremost, you have the styles of the two men. If you were going to draw up a perfect opponent stylistically to beat Kamaru Usman, it’d be Gilbert Burns.

However, the UFC champion does things that can give Burns a lot of trouble inside the octagon. One of those being his control along the fence. At times, we’ve seen Burns struggle against guys who can press him against the fence and hold him there.

Kamaru Usman is the best in the division when it comes to clinch control. If Usman gets Burns along the fence and Burns can’t get him off, it could be a long night for the challenger. However, if Usman cannot maintain control over Burns, it could be a long night for the champion.

I’m so torn on the UFC 258 main event. I give the wrestling and the strength advantages to Usman. However, I give the striking and the pure grappling advantages to Gilbert Burns. This fight is truly a 50/50 fight in my opinion.

In my bold UFC predictions for 2021, I predicted that Gilbert Burns would be the welterweight champion. I feel like I can’t go back on that now. While I won’t be shocked at all to see Usman win, I’m going with the underdog here to become the new UFC welterweight champion.

Prediction: Gilbert Burns by Unanimous Decision

Gilbert Burns knows Kamaru Usman’s game and plans on finishing him at UFC 258

In just a couple of week at UFC 258, we are going to see a welterweight title shot that we’ve waited months for. Former teammates will battle it out as the welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman (17-1), takes on Gilbert Burns (19-3).

Both men trained under Henry Hoof at Sanford MMA in Florida before they were originally scheduled to fight each other. Since the, the UFC welterweight champion has moved his camp to Colorado to train under Trevor Wittman.

Gilbert Burns still trains down in Florida and he’s ready for the challenge of Kamaru Usman at UFC 258. Burns was originally supposed to fight Usman back in July on the UFC‘s first trip to Fight Island.

However, a week out, Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be taken out of the fight. Usman would go on to defeat Jorge Masvidal (35-13) at UFC 251 to retain the welterweight title. A frustrated Burns watched from home as he recovered from COVID.

The promotion paired the two up again for a fight in December, however, the fight was scrapped after Usman needed more recovery time from injuries. Now, we are finally going to see these two lock horns in a couple of weeks.

Burns told ESPN this week that he believes he will not just win, but finish Kamaru Usman at UFC 258. “I believe I’m going to win. I’m training super hard for that and I believe that I am the guy that can finish Kamaru Usman,” Burns told ESPN.

UFC 258’s Welterweight Showdown

On paper, Gilbert Burns has the perfect style to defeat Kamaru Usman. He’s a multiple time world champion in jiu jitsu so you know he’s not going to be afraid of the grappling. He possesses incredibly fast hands with a ton of power.

In many ways, Burns has more advantages than Kamaru Usman at UFC 258 when you go skill for skill. For those reasons, I actually predicted that Burns would defeat Usman in my pre-2021 predictions.

However, Kamaru Usman’s nickname is a true depiction of what he is. He’s a nightmare for anyone in the division. Usman is incredibly frustrating and has the skills to neutralize almost any opponent he faces.

We’ve seen Burns struggle in the past with guys who can hold him against the fence. Well, there might not be anyone better at that than Kamaru Usman. Usman is going to have to employ a Randy Couture game plan to win this one and he’s fully capable of doing that at UFC 258.

There’s a lot to be excited about in this matchup. Both of these top welterweights know each other extremely well from their time training together. They also both possess skills that are issues for the other. This fight is truly a tossup and I’m so excited to see it playout in a couple of weeks.