Gilbert Burns will reportedly have to wait a little bit longer to finally receive his crack at Kamaru Usman, as the welterweight title fight between the two originally targeted for December’s UFC 256 will be pushed back to early 2021.
According to an ESPN report, Kamaru Usman’s third title defense is now projected to take place in either January or February of 2021 when he competes against Gilbert Burns. Burns was originally scheduled to face Usman in July at UFC 251, but after contracting the coronavirus, Burns was replaced by Jorge Masvidal.
Usman went on to win a unanimous decision over Masvidal but came away from the bout with a 180-day medical suspension. It is unclear if the delay until early 2021 is linked to the suspension, as the only reasoning presented as of this writing is that Usman needs more time than a December booking. The timeline of the medical suspension and the January date would match, so that could be the delaying factor.
Following Kamaru Usman’s successful defense, Dana White left no doubt on who was next for Usman, with Gilbert Burns being assured the next title shot. The fight was rescheduled for UFC 256 on December 12, but with this latest hiccup, there is now no confirmed main event scheduled for the event. There is another title bout scheduled for the event, however, with Amanda Nunes defending her featherweight championship against Megan Anderson, so this could ultimately prove to be the new event headliner.
Gilbert Burns last competed in a dominant shutout decision victory over Tyron Woodley in May to earn his title shot. Burns was acting as a short-notice replacement for Leon Edwards who could not make the Las Vegas event due to travel complications.
What do you think will ultimately be the new UFC 256 main event?