The UFC has reportedly booked a welterweight championship fight between champion Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman vs Gilbert “Durinho” Burns. The initial welterweight showdown was set for UFC 251 on July 12th 2020 at Fight Island. Unfortunately due to Burns and his coaches testing positive to COVID-19, Burns was replaced with Jorge Masvidal. Subsequently Masvidal loss to a unanimous decision where Usman utilised his wrestling and steered cautiously in striking.
The organisation promised Burns that he will receive his title shot and the second rebooked attempted was unofficially pencilled in for UFC 256 on December 12th 2020. Unfortunately once again the fight did not come to fruition and UFC 256 was headlined by flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and contender Brandon Moreno.
Multiple sources are suggesting that the fight has been verbally agreed and Usman himself took to his Instagram page on Thursday 14th January 2021, a fight poster of the two with a caption reading ‘February 13th We Must Chop 👊🏿💪🏿🤴🏿🇳🇬’.
On the other side of the octagon, Burns last fought on May 30th 2020 against former champion Tyron Woodley. The fight was once sided and saw Burns out-grapple and out-strike the former champion in a dominant unanimous decision. Taking his place as the next challenger for the welterweight gold.
Despite the blip in a positive COVID test Burns looks to be training hard with occasional posts on his social media. He also took to his Instagram account on Thursday showing him working out on his cardio, groundwork and pad work with a caption stating ‘😤Work Work Work Work 😤 Trabalho Trabalho Trabalho Trabalho
@ihpfit @jcsantanaihp @teamrsvp 📷 @cocos__creations_ @pso_rite @rvca @lovehempuk #champcamp #4weeks #andnew‘
If my maths add upright ‘#4weeks’ from today lands on the week of the 14th February. With both fighters taking to their social media to confirm the fight, I can only hope third time has to be the right time.
‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ will go into this upcoming title fight with a 16-win fight streak, 12 inside the UFC and ‘Durinho’ will be bringing to the canvas a 6-win fight streak. A highly anticipated and a match-up that could swing either way. Will we see a welterweight champion step on the path to the GOAT journey or will we see a powerhouse dethrone and bring in a new era to the welterweight division.
Something to keep in mind is that both Usman and Burns used to train together. Once teammates and now rivals, I can’t wait for this showdown.
Let’s hope this isn’t five rounds of grappling and rather a contender for fight of the year. So, many questions to be answered. Will Usman’s chin be withstanding Burns power? Will Burns be able to last five rounds of a smothering nightmare?
How many days are left in January again?