The UFC welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Gilbert Burns that was derailed in July appears to be on track for Dec. 12 at UFC 256. The news was verified by UFC president Dana White.
Both the fighters have an immaculate record to showcase (Usman: 17-1. Burns: 19-3), and the fight will pick up steam in the coming weeks/months, to ultimately shoot fireworks on December 12.
Usman and Burns were originally slated to meet at UFC 251 on July 11 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. That bout was derailed when Burns tested positive for COVID-19 prior to boarding a plane in Las Vegas to make the trip to Fight Island. The main event of 251, however, did go into motion with Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal, against all odds, made himself eligible to fight on 6 days’ notice but was unsuccessful in winning the title strap.
Following his confirmation that he’s tested negative for COVID-19 and is all in the clear, Gilbert Burns will be ready for his title shot. While Gilbert Burns’ name wasn’t brought up as much before, his win over former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley cemented his place as a top contender and it was enough for him to secure a title shot against reigning Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
Gilbert Burns: Future Welterweight Champion?
In an interview, Burns listed his advantages over Usman:
“I see a lot of advantages, For sure my jiu jitsu. Any wrestlers in this division, Colby Covington, try taking me down. Just try it. I’ll be more than happy to not make it easy for guys to take me down. I might defend the shot or even take you guys down. As soon as I get on top, or even on bottom, I’m able to submit or even sweep or do whatever with any one of these guys in the division.”
“Not only for the champion, but for anyone, I’m a threat on my feet too. I can kick, I can punch. I hit way harder than these guys. I have all the explosiveness. I’m fresh in the division. I don’t know how I didn’t make that change [from lightweight to welterweight] before, but right now I feel so good for that division.”
Meanwhile, Usman’s victory over Masvidal was his second successful defence of the welterweight belt. He also defeated Colby Covington via TKO at UFC 245.The 33-year-old won the belt at UFC 235 with a unanimous decision victory over Tyron Woodley.
Many have rated Gilbert Burns’ chances against Kamaru Usman very highly, with former two-division Champion Daniel Cormier stating that Gilbert Burns would have defeated Kamaru Usman if The Nigerian Nightmare fought the way he did against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251.
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