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.