Dustin Poirier shocked the MMA world when he finished Conor McGregor on Fight Island in January, and another upset is very much on the cards when welterweight champion Kamaru Usman faces Gilbert Burns at UFC 258.
Gilbert Burns – Kamaru Usman Prediction
“The Nigerian Nightmare” is a -260 favorite to succeed in his third title defense, according to Caesars, but +220 underdog Burns has advantages running in his favor that previous challengers have not. The pair had spent almost a decade as team-mates—across his stints with the Blackzilians and Sanford MMA, both based in Florida—although Usman (17-1) insisted that familiarity ultimately will not give Burns (19-3) the edge:
.@USMAN84kg doesn't have a problem fighting former training partner Gilbert Burns at #UFC258:— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) February 1, 2021
"It's different because you've felt them… But when it comes down to it, I see now face."
Watch full video: https://t.co/vCPiVnS5E3 pic.twitter.com/PNYgpbUQGz
“Durinho” may beg to differ, however, as he finally gets the title shot that was intially scheduled to happen in July. After the coronavirus pandemic and injuries caused multiple delays, the dark horse will have a lot of pent-up aggression to get out of his system come February 13:
A second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Burns has the potential to cancel out Usman’s elite-level wrestling. That’s the area in which Usman has built his unbeaten record in the UFC, but should the defending champion decide to stand and trade with the Brazilian, the temptation is to give the advantage to Burns.
Durinho may have more defeats on his record, but Usman’s style seems better suited to Burns than any challenger up to now, and his +220 price looks prime on paper.