UFC 258- Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns: Prediction and Analysis

Published 02/12/2021, 7:04 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: Kamaru Usman of Nigeria celebrates after his victory over Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


UFC 258 will be a massive night for the welterweight division. Kamaru Usman will return to the cage after a rushed defense of his title against Jorge Masvidal last July. However, the opponent was always supposed to be Gilbert Burns. This fight has seen two postponements, but will hopefully happen this Saturday.

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This will be Usman’s third title defense after beating Masvidal and Colby Covington in prior defenses. Gilbert Burns is coming off a win over the man that ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ beat for the title in Tyron Woodley.

Usman is on the verge of making history as a UFC welterweight. He is currently tied for the longest divisional win-streak with the greatest welterweight of all time in Georges St-Pierre. Usman can win his 13th consecutive UFC fight with a win over Burns and claim the legendary streak for himself.

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But will this be happening? Or is Usman in for a rude awakening?

UFC 258: Can Gilbert Burns play spoilsport to Usman’s historic run?

Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns were once teammates. This means that both men are extremely familiar with each other’s game plans. However, it has been a while since those days, but all accounts suggest ‘Durinho’ was the one that would come out on top then.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 29: Gilbert Burns of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on May 29, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Burns’s style is perfect against a pressure wrestler like Usman, whose previous title opponents did not boast a BJJ pedigree like Burns. However, Demian Maia does, and Usman got past him in a five-round UD win. However, ‘Durinho’ is a threat in more ways than one.

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Gilbert keeps looking to finish opponents while Usman has a more calculated and cautious style. Usman wears his opponents out to dominate them, while Burns is there to just get the finish and the win. This may be the biggest differentiator in this fight.

While ‘Durinho’ can fight off his back, Usman has shown he can trade punches; so has Burns. Hence, this fight may see a lot more stand-up action than expected of an Usman fight. Burns has an advantage on that end, but the threat of the champion’s wrestling will keep Burns honest in his approach.

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We believe that this may be another night of glory for Usman. He seems to be unbeatable at 170 right now. While Burns is easily the toughest opponent outside, maybe Leon Edwards, it seems like Kamaru will be moving forward with a win.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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