UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is in talks to defend his championship early next year. Combate’s Raphael Marinho reports that the UFC is looking to have Usman vs Gilbert Burns for the welterweight championship at UFC 258 on February 13, 2021. Marinho also reports that no contract has been signed, but both fighters have verbally agreed. The venue for UFC 258 has yet to be determined.
Usman will look to continue his dominant UFC career with a win over Burns. He was expected to face Burns on December 12th at UFC 256 at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that the fight was canceled because Usman needed more time to recover from undisclosed injuries. His last victory was against Jorge Masvidal by unanimous decision at UFC 251 on July 12th at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. If Usman defeats Burns it will be his 13th straight win the UFC. It would also be his third successful title defense.
Burns is looking to get the biggest win of his career with a victory over Usman. After spending most of his UFC career in the lightweight division, Burns moved up to welterweight last year. He is on a four-fight win streak and has climbed up the welterweight rankings. His last win was against the former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN 9 on May 30th at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. A win over Usman will be Burns’s first title win in his UFC career.