Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns Usman – Burns chance to become One of the best welterweights of all time
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns Preview + Prediction
UFC 258 takes place Saturday in the Apex facility in Las Vegas. Headlining the event is a highly-anticipated and intriguing welterweight title fight between former teammates Kamaru Usman (17-1) and Gilbert Burns (19-3).
With that said, let’s preview what should be an exciting main event.
Third time’s the charm
The pair were initially set to collide at the UFC 251 pay-per-vient event in July last year only for a positive COVID-19 test to rule Burns out. Instead, Jorge Masvidal would step in on six days’ notice to face Usman and would end up losing a drab unanimous decision.
While it wasn’t the most entertaining, Usman — who also took a risk by fighting a new opponent on short notice — got the job done and it made it 12 straight wins since his UFC debut in 2015. His last outing prior to the Masvidal win was a fifth-round TKO victory over bitter rival Colby Covington in December 2019.
Usman was then set to face Burns at UFC 256 in December. Although it was never confirmed, that was the plan until Usman required more time before he could compete again. Luckily, it looks like the third time's the charm as UFC 258 is only a day away and Burns will finally get his shot at welterweight gold.
The Brazilian has won his last six in a row with four of those coming since his move up to welterweight. Not having to cut those extra 15 pounds anymore, “Durinho” has flourished with big wins over the likes of Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
He will undoubtedly be looking to crown his unbeaten run with the welterweight title.
Both fighters excel on the ground. Usman is known for his wrestling while Burns is a jiu-jitsu black belt with high-level wrestling of his own.
If anyone has the wrestling edge, it’s Usman and it’s very possible he will look to take Burns down and control him.However, there’s always the risk of being countered by Burns who can catch him with a triangle, armbar or just about any other submission.
And so, it’s also likely that Usman will initially look to kickbox and use his length and reach advantage before pushing Burns up against the fence and wearing him out with his excellent clinchwork.
As for Burns, he is very well-rounded and he might even gain the advantage if he’s the one initiating the takedown. Usman has never been on his back, let alone taken down in the UFC and it will certainly be interesting to see how he fares against someone like Burns in that scenario.
Burns will also be favored in the striking department as he likely has the slight power edge while he can also use leg kicks without the fear of the takedown as he will be more than happy to work off his back.
The most interesting bit? Both fighters have sparred with each other for years and know who has the edge in certain departments.
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Prediction:
This is a very intriguing matchup and the fact that both fighters were teammates for many years only makes it more interesting.
With that said, it’s hard to look past Usman who we predict will earn the unanimous decision victory and continue to cement himself as one of the best welterweights of all time.
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