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.

UFC’s Mike Perry ‘Spills own blood’ in alarming social media posts

2020 was a very eventful year for the UFC‘s Mike Perry (14-7). Perry had two fights inside the octagon, however, it was what happened outside the octagon that made headlines nationally.

For starters, Perry punched an old man in a bar while yelling the N-Word. Then, Perry was accused of domestic violence by his ex, and then he badly missed weight for his last fight at UFC 255.

Inside the octagon, Perry went 1-1. However, he also raised eyebrows by fighting with no coaches and choosing to have his fiancé in his corner for his last couple of fights. Perry has also been very active on social media and not in a good way.

Starting yesterday, Perry tweeted messages regarding anyone coming up to him and asking him a question. Now, I completely understand where he’s coming from in the sense of wanting privacy.

However, the manner in which Perry voiced the message was a little concerning. Then today, the UFC welterweight tweeted out saying that he’s happy to spill his own blood because whatever he does is not enough so he acts out.

The UFC welterweight also posted the below video of himself after he seemingly put his foot through a glass window. Please be advised that the video does contain some graphic images. 

Should the UFC get involved?

Stating the obvious here, but Mike Perry needs some serious help. The man is just not all there mentally and needs help. The UFC needs to step in and do one of two things in my opinion.

The first thing they should do is try and get this guy the help he needs. He’s a good fighter with a ton of personality who just needs some help controlling his emotions. Perhaps the UFC could assist with that.

If they can’t get him any help, they need to cut him and move on. Perry is a PR nightmare for the UFC as things currently stand. He’s constantly bringing negative attention to himself and the sport.

I actually really like Mike Perry. He’s incredibly entertaining and the guy is incredibly tough when he steps into the octagon. I want to see him get things worked out. However, if things keep going down this path, the promotion needs to move on.

State of the UFC’s welterweight division entering 2021

Overall, 2020 turned out to be a relatively slow year in the UFC‘s welterweight division. After Kamaru Usman (17-1) and Colby Covington (16-2) had a war to end 2019 for the title, we only saw one title fight in the division during 2020.

That title fight took place at UFC 251. Kamaru Usman defended his title against the BMF himself, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (35-14). Masvidal had a massive 2019 that made him the top contender in the welterweight division.

However, putting the fight with Usman together proved to be difficult. The fight actually fell apart before it came back together. Negotiations broke down between the UFC and Masvidal when the two sides were trying to make the fight.

As a result, the promotion shifted gears to Gilbert Burns (19-3). Burns became a top contender after he smashed former champion Tyron Woodley (19-6-1) and knocked out Demian Maia (28-10).

Burns was all set to take the fight against Usman at UFC 251. However, Burns tested positive for COVID and the fight was scrapped. That’s how we ultimately got back to the fight between Usman and Masvidal.

UFC’s Welterweight Division in 2021

Usman would go on to use his steady wrestling attack to secure a decision win over Masvidal at UFC 251. However, Usman would be out the remainder of 2020 after getting banged up in the fight.

Tentatively, the UFC is planning on Usman and Burns facing off on February 13th for the welterweight title. The promotion also has their eyes on a grudge match in the division that promises to be big business.

The UFC is trying to book Masvidal against Covington. The two former best friends are now sworn enemies and can’t stand each other. The promotion has been trying to put the fight together, but it’s developed extremely slow.

That fight is one of the more anticipated matchups of 2021. Another fighter to watch this upcoming year is Leon Edwards (18-3). Edwards has won eight fights in a row and he was supposed to take on the star prospect, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) on January 20th.

However, we learned yesterday that Chimaev had to pull out of the fight. The plan is still for Edwards to fight on January 20th. In addition to all of these contenders, you still have Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1) in the mix.

Wonderboy just picked up a shutout victory over Geoff Neal at UFC Vegas 17. Thompson has turned away two straight top contenders to show everyone he’s still a factor at 170 pounds.

Kamaru Usman’s toughest stylistic matchup is his first fight of the year. After Burns, the division is filled with killers waiting for their chance. Usman is going to have his hands full trying to hold on to his UFC gold in 2021.

UFC: Recapping Leon Edwards rough 2020

Leon Edwards

Going into 2020, it seemed like the sky was the limit for top UFC welterweight, Leon Edwards (18-3). Edwards entered the year on an eight fight winning streak poised to be a threat to the welterweight title in 2020.

Rocky was booked against former UFC welterweight champion to start things off in March. It was going to be a big step up in competition for Edwards, but a victory would put him as one of the next in line for a title shot.

According to Edwards, he had a fantastic camp leading up to the fight. In all honesty, I figured he was in a really good position to beat the former UFC champion. Especially considering what we’ve now seen from Woodley in 2020.

However, just a week before the fight was scheduled to happen, the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown the UFC‘s production. The promotion scrapped the event and told Edwards that the fight would be getting pushed back.

However, with the shutdowns, Edwards was not able to travel to the US to take the fight when the UFC wanted to make it. Instead, Gilbert Burns got the shot and he dominated Woodley.

UFC’s unlucky welterweight

Edwards caught a break when the UFC was heading to Fight Island. Negotiations between Jorge Masvidal and the UFC fell apart. Masvidal was scheduled to take on welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman.

However, after talks fell apart, the UFC went to Leon Edwards first to see if he could take the fight. But, with everything still locked down, Edwards was not able to accept the title fight since he couldn’t train. The promotion then gave the fight to Gilbert Burns.

The rest of 2020 saw Leon Edwards searching for a fight with a top contender. However, the UFC booked all top contenders in other matchups while offering Edwards guys in the lower half of the rankings.

Since the UFC couldn’t get Edwards to accept a fight, he was dropped from the welterweight rankings. Edwards quickly changed his tune and called for a fight with the hottest prospect in the division, Khamzat Chimaev.

The UFC quickly booked that contest as the main event of the December 19th card. However, COVID-19 struck down Leon Edwards and he had to pull out of the fight. Another opportunity that Edwards wasn’t able to accept.

No matter what you think of the guy, you have to feel bad at this point. The pandemic has impacted his UFC career perhaps more than anyone else’s. Multiple opportunities have vanished. One can only hope for Rocky is that 2021 sees him back in the cage consistently.

UFC booking Carlos Condit – Matt Brown

Carlos Condit

The UFC is close to finalizing a fun welterweight contest for fans in 2021. Per MMA Fighting, the promotion is close to finalizing a contest between former interim champion, Carlos Condit (31-13), and Matt Brown (22-17).

This is the third time that the UFC has attempted to book these guys against each other. However, injuries derailed both of the previous matchups. This is an incredibly fun matchup for fans and a fight that makes sense for both fighters.

Carlos Condit fought for the first time in almost two years back in October. That night, Condit was able to snap his five fight losing streak and get a much needed win over Court McGee. Condit looked good that night even breaking the nose of McGee.

The 36 year old former UFC champion made it clear that night that he wasn’t done. It seemed that after the fight, Condit was rejuvenated by the much needed win. While a title run might not be in the cards, he’s still got gas in the tank.

UFC’s January 30th Card

The proposed welterweight contest is going to take place on the UFC‘s January 30th card. For Matt Brown, he’s going to be attempting to bounce back from his knockout loss to Miguel Baeza which occurred back in May.

Prior to that knockout loss, Brown had won back-to-back fights by knockout. Brown has long been known as one of the more entertaining and game fighters that the UFC has on their roster.

To me, this fight isn’t really about moving forward towards the top of the division. This is a fight between two guys who still have fight left in them and they are looking to put on a show for UFC fans.

It’s going to be a fantastic matchup. If both men show up at their best on January 30th, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I’m expecting a fun striking war when these two stand across from each other next year.

UFC: Leon Edwards promised a title shot if he beats Khamzat Chimaev

Leon Edwards

2020 has been a very frustrating year for the UFC‘s third ranked welterweight. Leon Edwards (18-3) was originally supposed to take on former champion, Tyron Woodley, back in March. Edwards would be entering that contest on an eight fight winning streak.

The general thought was that if Edwards won, he would be getting a UFC title shot. A week before the event was set to take place, the pandemic shut down the UFC‘s production and the Edwards – Woodley fight was cancelled.

The UFC decided to move the fight to May. However, due to the shutdown in the UK, Edwards was unable to train or travel. Gilbert Burns was given the shot and he ended up dominating Tyron Woodley.

Jorge Masvidal was originally supposed to fight Kamaru Usman for the title, however, that fight fell apart. The UFC called Edwards to see if he’d be able to take the fight, but due to the shutdowns, he had to pass up the opportunity.

The UFC then turned to Gilbert Burns and gave him the title shot. Burns came down with COVID and the promotion ultimately ended up going back to Jorge Masvidal to headline UFC 251 against Kamaru Usman.

After Usman defeated Masvidal, the promotion announced that Gilbert Burns was the number one contender. Meanwhile, Leon Edwards has been sitting on the sidelines waiting for his chance.

UFC title eliminator

While all of this was going on, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0) was taking the world by storm. Chimaev has fought three times since July and he’s dominated everyone that the UFC has put in front of him.

The promotion was really struggling to book Chimaev in a headliner because nobody wanted to fight him. The promotion was also struggling to get Leon Edwards a fight. Edwards wanted a top contender or a title shot.

However, all of the top contenders were booked and the title fight was booked. Due to inactivity, Edwards was actually briefly removed from the UFC‘s rankings. Shortly after, a frustrated Edwards called for the fight nobody wanted.

The UFC then booked Edwards against the rising star, Khamzat Chimaev. Chimaev is not currently ranked while Edwards is in the top three. However, given the hype, this is a fight that can put Edwards over the top.

In fact, Edwards told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani he’s been promised a title shot if he wins. Edwards said, “That’s been mentioned (a title shot). I believe that I’m going to get that title shot after I beat him (Chimaev).”

It’s a crazy fight, but it’s been a crazy year. It’s odd to think, but whoever wins on December 19th is likely going to get a shot at the UFC‘s welterweight champion. Leon Edwards can finally get his shot, or Khamzat Chimaev will show the world just how special he really is.

UFC: Leon Edwards called out by Stephen Thompson

Leon Edwards

It’s been no secret that the UFC has been struggling to find an opponent for Leon Edwards (18-3). Edwards is currently ranked third in the welterweight division. However, he’s been in this weird limbo position where he can’t get a fight.

Edwards had a fight with Tyron Woodley booked in March, but that was scrapped due to COVID. Now, Edwards has been waiting for the UFC to find him a fight. However, nothing is sticking despite him calling out virtually everyone.

This morning however, someone turned the tables and called out Leon Edwards. This fighter will likely be the fifth ranked UFC welterweight contender once the new rankings come out, and he’s fought for the title a couple of times. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (15-4-1) called his shot in the most Wonderboy way possible this morning.

Will the UFC make it happen?

In reality, this is a great fight for the UFC to make. I know that Edwards has been campaigning for a higher profile fight with the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Gilbert Burns, Colby Covington, and Kamaru Usman, but Edwards still hasn’t beat anyone in the top five during his winning streak.

Wonderboy would be the first top five opponent he’s had in the UFC‘s welterweight division. It would be a fantastic matchup and Wonderboy is coming off of a very good win against Vicente Luque back in November at UFC 244.

Edwards is normally really active on social media so my guess is we will see a response. Edwards isn’t getting any of the top guys unless someone gets injured so this would be the perfect fight for him. If he could beat Wonderboy, that would be a big feather in his cap.

If the UFC brings this fight together, it’s massive for both men. Edwards would be looking for his ninth straight victory inside the octagon while Wonderboy would be looking to get back to a UFC title shot. The welterweight division is exciting right now, and I really like this potential matchup for both men.

For Tyron Woodley, it’s sink or swim at UFC Vegas 11

In two days at UFC Vegas 11, the former welterweight champion of the world has a chance to silence all the doubters. With his back up against the wall like never before, Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) finds himself in a sink or swim situation on Saturday night.

Not even two years ago, many were putting Woodley in the conversation as one of the greatest UFC welterweights of all time. Some (not me), even put him in the same conversation as Georges St. Pierre. Oh how the times have changed in just a year and a half.

After being put in those lofty conversations, the former UFC welterweight champion is on a two fight losing streak. Not only is he on a two fight losing streak, he’s on a two fight shutout streak where he’s lost all ten rounds in those two UFC contests.

Woodley is getting another main event against his biggest rival in the division, Colby Covington (15-2). He finds himself in a position where he has to win. If Woodley cannot win on Saturday night, he could be facing some tough realities in his UFC career.

Last chance for the former UFC champion?

Prior to UFC 235, Woodley was on a seven fight winning streak with one draw thrown in there. Outside of Stephen Thompson, his welterweight title reign was pure dominance. Woodley shutout Demian Maia, submitted Darren Till, and knocked out Robbie Lawler.

Many people believed that Woodley would also defeat Kamaru Usman and continue his UFC title reign. However, Usman completely dominated Woodley in a performance that was pretty embarassing by Woodley’s standards.

After the loss, the former champion took over a year off to dedicate him back to the sport. He was originally scheduled to fight Leon Edwards, but after that fight fell through, he fought Gilbert Burns in May at UFC on ESPN 9.

That night, once again, Woodley was completely dominated. Now, he gets the matchup he’s always wanted with Covington. If he can win, we might be looking at another title run. If he loses, he might have to look down at the pieces of shattered glory. Saturday is a big night for the former champion.

UFC: Nate Diaz fires back at Leon Edwards

Poor Leon Edwards is just trying to get himself a fight in the UFC. The top welterweight contender has been out for a while and seemingly can’t find himself a dance partner. He’s even called out Nick Diaz in hopes that he can land that fight in Diaz’s return to the UFC.

The one fighter Edwards has the most heat with is Jorge Masvidal. Of course, this stems from the altercation that the two men had after UFC Fight Night 147. Edwards has been calling out Masvidal to have a fight inside the octagon.

Of course, those calls have fallen on deaf ears. It was announced recently that Masvidal would be rematching Nate Diaz in January.

This has not sat well with Edwards who recently said, “You can’t go out there and fight a guy (Diaz) who you just f–ckin’ battered for three rounds and say you’re the BMF. That’s not how it works.” This didn’t sit well with Nate Diaz.

The UFC’s Options

Nate Diaz saying what he does actually plays right into the idea of Edwards getting a UFC fight with Nick Diaz. Nate pointed out that Edwards got punked by Masvidal by trying to act tough during Masvidal’s post fight interview after he knocked out Darren Till.

Leon Edwards desperately needs to find himself a fight that is sexy to the fans. The problem for Edwards is that the fans really don’t seem to care, and when the fans don’t care, the UFC feels no urge to make a big fight.

Everyone wants to see Nick Diaz return to the UFC. Nate Diaz just poured a little gas on the fire with Leon Edwards. If I was Edwards, I would really start going in on both Diaz brothers.

Keep trying to poke the brothers in hopes that he can land that fight. Who knows, maybe Leon Edwards and Nick Diaz can be on the same card as the BMF rematch.

Leon Edwards wants to welcome Nick Diaz back to the UFC

Leon Edwards

You had to imagine that as soon as Nick Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) announced that he was coming back to the UFC, the callouts would start. Today has already seen a couple of high level fighters call out the Stockton native. The first callout came from Darren Till.

After the callout from Till, one of the best welterweights in the world called out Diaz. Leon “Rocky” Edwards (18-3) is struggling to find himself an opponent in the UFC‘s welterweight division. He sees Diaz as the perfect opponent.

Would the UFC make it happen?

Edwards is currently ranked third in the welterweight division, and he’s on an eight fight winning streak. Despite his credentials, the UFC is having a difficult time getting Leon Edwards a fight. With all the top contenders booked, he’s been left on the sidelines.

A fight with Diaz could make sense for both parties. For Edwards, it would be a massive fight that could gain in more popularity in the UFC. Edwards desperately needs a sexy fight that would get the fans more invested in him. A fight with Nick Diaz should do the trick.

For Nick Diaz, a fight with Edwards would be a great way to get right back into the mix. If Diaz could come in and defeat Leon Edwards in his first UFC fight back, it would tell everyone that Nick Diaz is ready to battle for the title. However, I’m not sure the UFC will make this fight right away.

It will all come down to what the UFC wants to do with Diaz. If they want to slowly work him back in, I would expect a lower ranked opponent. However, if they want to fast-track him, a fight with Edwards would make perfect sense.