Gilbert Burns and Kamaru Usman have both verbally agreed to meet and compete for the UFC Welterweight World Championship at UFC 258, originally reported by Combate. It’s relatively short notice as the event takes place on February 13th and the pair of elite fighters will only have around five weeks to prepare for it, but it’s not as if the matchup is anything actually new to them. This would mark the third time that Usman has been booked to defend his title against Burns, and both of their previous meetings have been arranged within the last year.
The pair were first scheduled to meet at UFC 251 on July 12th, 2020, but unfortunately Burns came down with Coronavirus and was forced to withdraw from the fight, eventually being replaced by Jorge Masvidal. The fight was then rearranged for UFC 256 on December 12th only to be postponed for a second time when Usman declared that he would need longer to prepare for the three-time IBJJF World Champion and ADCC bronze medalist.
It’s been unfortunate for Burns that the decision to wait for his hard-earned title shot at UFC 258 has resulted in him being unable to compete since defeating Tyron Woodley back at the first UFC Vegas event on May 30th. That hasn’t meant that Burns has been out of the spotlight however, as he recently challenged Nate Diaz to a grappling match worth $400,000 at Submission Underground 19. Alongside that, he also weighed in on the recent criticism of Conor McGregor’s grappling game, giving his expert opinion and declaring that it’s actually pretty underrated.