UFC books short-notice fight between Bobby Green and Jim Miller

UFC 258 has added a very solid lightweight contest to it’s card. MMA Junkie was first to report this afternoon that the promotion has booked a fight between “King” Bobby Green (27-11-1) and Jim “A-10” Miller (32-15, 1 NC).

The news of this fight between lightweight veterans comes on the heels of learning that the co-main between Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall is off. No word yet on if this fight will end up on the UFC 258 main card.

Jim Miller is as tough as they come and he’s been with the UFC since 2008. Miller just keeps on going at 37 years old and competed inside the octagon three times during 2020. However, Miller only went 1-2 in those three fights.

That 1-2 stretch followed a 2019 that saw Miller go 2-0 inside the octagon. While not at the top of the division, Miller has still proved that he’s a tough out in the UFC‘s lightweight division. We last saw him at UFC 252 when he lost a decision to Vinc Pichel.

UFC Resurgence for The King

Heading into 2020, Bobby Green didn’t know if he was going to compete in the UFC anymore. Green was flirting with retirement after several decisions had gone against him and he had gone 1-5-1 in his previous seven fights.

The King decided to take a fight in the middle of the year against veteran Clay Guida. Green was able to pickup a decision win. He then followed that fight up with two additional wins to put him on a three-fight win streak.

Green decided to take one more fight inside the octagon in 2020 against Thiago Moises. That night, Green came up short and his UFC winning streak was halted at three. However, going 3-1 in 2020 has motivated Green to try and climb back up the ranks.

It’s amazing that these two veterans have never crossed paths despite their lengthy runs with the promotion. Well, we will finally get to see the two of them square off at UFC 258 in what promises to be a very fun matchup at 155.

UFC 258 co-main event between Chris Weidman – Uriah Hall is off; fight pushed back

Chris Weidman

UFC 258 has lost it’s co-main event. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was first to report that the middleweight matchup between Chris Weidman (15-5) and Uriah Hall (16-9) has been called off.

The fight is a rematch from their first matchup that took place almost 11 years ago. Weidman got the better of that fight and he was able to stop Uriah Hall. That was long before either man was in the UFC.

Per Helwani, Weidman recently tested positive for COVID-19. Because of that positive test, the fight that was originally scheduled to take place in 15 days is being pushed back. The current plan is for the fight to take place at UFC 261.

The current target date for that fight is April 24th. Given the amount of time needed in between the two dates, one can assume that Weidman was pretty sick from his COVID-19 diagnosis.

Big UFC Middleweight Matchup

Both of these men currently rank inside the UFC’s top 11 at middleweight. Chris Weidman returned to the middleweight division in 2020 after a one-fight stint at the light heavyweight division.

The former UFC middleweight champion was able to grind out a decision over Omari Akhmedov in his return to middleweight. Going back to July 2017, Weidman is 2-1 in his last three middleweight contests including a submission over Kelvin Gastelum.

However, Weidman is just 2-5 overall in his last seven fights. More concerning is the fact that the former UFC champion was knocked out in all five of those losses. Nevertheless, Weidman seems dedicated and focused on one final run at 185.

Uriah Hall is such a unique fighter. He has always had the talent, but he couldn’t quite get over the hump in the UFC. He has some solid wins over guys like Anderson Silva, Gegard Mousasi, and Thiago Santos.

However, for the majority of his UFC career, Hall has come up short in the big fights. Since 2015, he’s lost four times, but all four times he was going against the elites of the division. The losses came against Robert Whittaker, Paulo Costa, Derek Brunson, and Gegard Mousasi.

Yet, Hall believes he’s the best he’s ever been. If he’s able to defeat Weidman at UFC 261, it would be his fourth straight victory. He would once again be ready to challenge someone in the top five. Maybe this will finally be the time he breaks through.

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.

UFC rebooks headliner between Khamzat Chimaev and Leon Edwards

Today is one of the first days the UFC is back on Fight Island and they kicked it off with a bang. Dana White confirmed with MMA Junkie this morning that the promotion has rebooked Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) – Leon Edwards (18-3).

This will be the third time that the UFC is attempting to book this fight. The two will now headline the March 13th Fight Night. March is starting to look like it’s going to be a massive month for the UFC.

As mentioned, this is the third time that this fight is booked. Originally, this fight was supposed to take place in December. However, Edwards tested positive for COVID and the fight was scrapped.

Then the UFC rebooked the fight for the January 20th card. Chimaev also came down with COVID and he was not able to make the date. So, the promotion scrapped the fight for a second time.

There was brief discussions about keeping Edwards on next week’s card, however, the UFC really wanted to keep the two paired. As a result, they started working on new potential dates and landed on March 13th.

UFC Title Eliminator

A few months ago, I would have bet my house that the UFC title eliminator at welterweight would have been Colby Covington (16-2) – Jorge Masvidal (35-14). The promotion is still working on that fight, however, it hasn’t been booked.

The next welterweight title fight takes place at UFC 258 in February. Given the timeline of this new Chimaev – Edwards headliner, I believe that the winner will likely be the next in line for the welterweight championship.

Chimaev has taken the UFC by storm since his debut in July on Fight Island. Three incredibly dominant performances have turned him into a superstar. If he’s able to defeat Edwards, his stock is going to be astronomically high.

However, that’s not going to be an easy task. While not the sexiest name in the division, Edwards has won an incredible eight-straight at welterweight. Should he derail the hype train of Chimaev, there’s no denying him of a title shot. I’m pumped for this one.

UFC officially books welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman – Gilbert Burns

The UFC has finalized a big-time title fight in their welterweight division. While it’s been rumored, the promotion officially finalized the welterweight title fight this evening between Kamaru Usman (17-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3).

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was the first to break the news that the fight was officially booked. The fight will take place at UFC 258 on February 13th. Usman will be seeking his third successful title defense at welterweight.

Back at UFC 251, Usman successfully defended his title against Jorge Masvidal. However, it was originally supposed to be Gilbert Burns taking on Usman in July. Burns tested positive for COVID-19 just one week before the fight.

Due to the positive test, the UFC pivoted to Masvidal who was the promotion’s first choice to begin with. Prior to the positive COVID test, Gilbert Burns appeared to be on his way to winning fighter of the year in 2020.

Burns started the year by starching Demian Maia then he completely dominated former welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. Gilbert Burns looks like a completely different fighter in the UFC‘s welterweight division.

In 2020, Burns showed off drastically improved striking. He showed off his speed and his power. That evolved striking pairs nicely with his world class skills on the ground. Burns is the most dangerous challenger for Usman in the UFC.

Big test for the UFC champion

As mentioned, Usman has successfully defended his title twice. Once against Masvidal and the other against Colby Covington at UFC 245. Covington pushed Usman to the limit, but the champion never broke and finished Covington in the fifth round.

Usman is known for his smothering wrestling style that just doesn’t allow his opponents to breathe. However, as he showed in the Covington fight, he is not opposed to letting his hands go if he needs to.

That said, there is no secret to Usman’s game plan. He’s going to look to bully Burns at UFC 258 and hope that his wrestling and strength will allow him to get the advantage. Burns’ tremendous skills on the ground make this matchup so fascinating. I’m pumped up for this one.

Two UFC bold predictions for 2021

Francis Ngannou

Thankfully for the world, 2020 is officially behind us. While it was a pretty terrible year across the board, the UFC accomplished some major things last year. The biggest MMA promotion in the world was the first major sport to return after the pandemic hit.

Dana White and the crew at the UFC deserve a lot of credit for what they pulled off. In addition, the promotion also delivered card after card of incredible fights. We saw new champions crowned and fights that made us stand up and applaud from home.

2021 is promising to be a very exciting year for the UFC. The promotion already is kicking off the year in Fight Island with some incredible fights. Most notably the rematch between Conor McGregor (22-4) and Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC).

There are so many compelling matchups in the UFC this year. There are so many interesting storylines as well. With that, I wanted to get bold with a few predictions for the UFC in 2021.

Now, I’m not saying these are official picks or guaranteeing this will happen. However, my gut is telling me that these two predictions will come to fruition and when they do, some UFC fans are going to be shocked.

2021 UFC bold predictions

Stipe Miocic doesn’t last one round with Francis Ngannou

For my first bold prediction, I’m looking at the UFC’s heavyweight division. The current plan is for Stipe Miocic (20-3) to defend his title against Francis Ngannou (15-3) in March. However, the fight is not finalized at this time.

This fight is a rematch from UFC 220. The narrative going into this fight is going to be a lot like the first one. Whenever they first were paired together, many believed that Ngannou’s power would be too much for Stipe Miocic.

However, Stipe completely dominated Ngannou and won a shutout decision. Since then, Miocic has only fought in a trilogy with Daniel Cormier where he’s gone 2-1. Ngannou lost his next fight to Derrick Lewis, but after that, he’s looked inhuman.

The Predator has knocked out four straight opponents with none of them getting past 71 seconds. He’s training like a mad man and he is desperate to become the UFC’s heavyweight champion of the world.

Ngannou went into the first fight completely overconfident. He didn’t think Miocic could handle him, and he was wrong. His training is different now and I think he’s going to be better than ever when they fight.

On the other hand, I personally don’t believe Stipe is as good as he was when they fought the first time. I think when they rematch in March, Stipe is going to fall in the first round and Francis Ngannou will be the new UFC heavyweight champion.

Gilbert Burns dethrones Kamaru Usman

For my second and final bold prediction, I’m taking a look at the UFC’s welterweight title. Champion, Kamaru Usman (17-1), is tentatively booked to defend his title against Gilbert Burns (19-3) in February at UFC 258.

To this point, nobody has been able to solve Kamaru Usman. Colby Covington pushed him to the absolute limit, but Usman was ultimately able to finish Covington in that fight. It’s extremely difficult to deal with the style of Usman.

He’s incredibly strong, he’s got tremendous power, and he has phenomenal wrestling which he uses to control his opponents. Whether on the ground or against the fence, Usman’s control is something that fighters struggle to deal with.

However, if there’s anyone in the UFC who has the style to beat Usman it’s his former teammate, Gilbert Burns. As Burns was on the rise, it was his BJJ skills that everyone was incredibly impressed with. Burns is one of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the sport.

However, it’s his striking that’s blown me away this year. Burns is incredibly fast and extremely powerful with his hands. He knocked out Demian Maia on the feet and dropped Tyron Woodley when they fought earlier this year.

On the feet, I believe that Burns is going to have a big advantage at UFC 258. He’s got the speed to give Usman fits. His skills as a grappler are also going to cause problems for Usman in my opinion.

Now, would I be shocked if Usman is able to use his strengths to grind out a decision? No, I mean he’s the UFC champion for a reason. However, I truly believe that Gilbert Burns is a nightmare matchup for him. For that reason, we will see a new welterweight champion next month.

UFC: Sean O’Malley announces the date of his return

Sean O'Malley

The UFC‘s Suga Show is back. Per his official Instagram, Sean O’Malley (12-1) will be making his highly anticipated return early next year. O’Malley said that he will be returning to the UFC on February 13th.

February 13th is the targeted date for UFC 258 although that has not been confirmed. There are already some great matchups for that card including Kamaru Usman – Gilbert Burns as well as Chris Weidman – Uriah Hall 2. 

O’Malley’s addition will make the UFC‘s return to the US even bigger. The promotion is expected to start off 2021 on Fight Island with a card that will be headlined by Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar. 

Dana White said last week that the UFC is planning on a three show run on Fight Island culminating with UFC 257 headlined by the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. It’s not confirmed on if the promotion will have additional shows on Fight Island.

What we do know is that O’Malley’s return is tentatively scheduled for Las Vegas. O’Malley didn’t announce who is opponent was, but I’m anticipating we should know that information sooner rather than later.

UFC Return for the Suga Show

After nearly two years off, Sean O’Malley’s UFC return in 2020 couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. In March, he knocked out Jose Alberto Quinonez in the first round of their fight.

O’Malley topped that performance at UFC 250 when he had a clean walkoff knockout against former title challenger Eddie Wineland. The Suga Show was ready to bust into the top ten, however, he ran into Chito Vera back at UFC 252.

O’Malley looked sensational at the start of the fight. He had Vera biting heavy on nearly everything he was throwing and he was getting the better of the striking exchanges. However, near the end of the round, O’Malley started rolling over his ankle.

There’s been a lot of debate on whether this occurred due to ankle wraps or Vera’s calf kicks. Likely the latter of those two. Chito Vera took full advantage of the wounded O’Malley and ended up getting the first round finish.

It was a tough loss for O’Malley, but the future is still bright for him. He’s one of the up and coming stars for the promotion, and I’m very interested to see who the UFC is going to pair him with when he returns.

UFC books Kamaru Usman – Gilbert Burns title fight

Will the third time be the charm for the UFC? The promotion is finalizing the welterweight title fight between champion, Kamaru Usman (17-1), and top contender, Gilbert Burns (19-3). The fight will take place at UFC 258 on February 13th.

As mentioned, this is the third time that the promotion will attempt to make this title fight. Originally the two were supposed to fight back at UFC 251. However, that wasn’t the original plan.

When 2020 started, the UFC was planning on Kamaru Usman defending his title against Jorge Masvidal. However, negotiations kept delaying that fight and ultimately it didn’t come together.

After Gilbert Burns defeated Tyron Woodley earlier this year, the UFC pivoted to giving the shot to Burns. Burns would go on to test positive for COVID-19 just a week before UFC 251 was scheduled to take place.

The promotion then went back to Masvidal and negotiated the deal. Usman successfully defended his title against Masvidal at UFC 251, but he didn’t come out of the fight unscathed. He needed a little time to recover following the fight with Gamebred.

The promotion then started finalizing plans for Usman to defend against Burns at UFC 256 in December. However, Usman went back to the promotion and said that he needed a little more time to heal up before the fight.

UFC 258

So for the second time, the title fight with Usman and Burns was delayed. Now, it seems that we have a date that works for all parties. UFC 258 will likely take place on Fight Island and the headliner will be the welterweight title fight.

This fight is so interesting because of the dynamics. First and foremost, Usman and Burns are former training partners. Both men know each other very well. Burns also possesses the skillset to give Usman a lot of trouble.

Gilbert Burns is one of the best ground fighters in MMA. He’s a world champion in Jiu Jitsu, but his striking has also evolved tremendously. He’s incredibly fast and powerful on his feet and he showed that in his last two fights.

Nobody in the UFC‘s welterweight division has been able to defeat Usman. He’s been able to methodically break down and beat all of his opponents so far. However, Burns could be the biggest challenge so far. It’ll be a great one when it happens.