Gilbert Burns


Comes up short in title quest
February 13, 2021
Burns came up short in his quest for the UFC Welterweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Kamaru Usman via TKO (punches) at 0:34 of Round 3.
Burns had his moments, mostly notably a massive right hand that cracked Usman upside the ear just moments after the opening bell rang. Usman is now one of the most decorated welterweights in UFC history for a reason, however, and the champion hung on in the early going before completely turning the tables in Round 2. A notoriously durable fighter, Burns eventually had zero answers for the power of Usman. He was wobbled on multiple occasions in the second frame before being finished off early in Round 3. Quite honestly, it says far more about the ridiculous power of Usman than it does any concerns regarding Burns' chin. Burns was extremely emotional after the fight as he and Usman appeared to bury the hatchet regarding their brief feud. The loss snaps a six-fight win streak for Burns dating back to July 2018. Burns is more than talented enough to work his way back into the title picture, but it's going to be a long climb. The Brazilian turns 35 years of age this coming July and history says his best days are already behind him.
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Agrees to February title shot
January 5, 2021
Burns has agreed to take on Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 258 on Feb. 13, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Burns lost his chance to fight Usman this past summer when he came down with COVID-19 and ultimately withdrew, opening the door for Usman to face Jorge Masvidal in his stead. While Usman took care of business handily, he came away with a medical suspension. Factor that in with Burns' recovery and you have a lengthy time on the sidelines for both fighters. This was after a period of heavy activity for Burns, who racked up five victories from April 2019 to May 2020. Burns is riding a six-fight winning streak and will be getting this opportunity on the heels of back-to-back Performance of the Night bonuses. His striking volume and accuracy is well behind that of Usman's, at least statistically, but Burns should still be able to compete on the mat. Oddsmakers peg the Brazilian as a (+195) betting underdog as of early-January.
Usman fight rescheduled
November 17, 2020
Burns' welterweight title fight against Kamaru Usman is now expected to take place on Feb. 13, Raphael Marinho of Combate reports.
The matchup had already been scheduled and cancelled twice before, but the fighters will hope the third time's the charm after verbally agreeing to a new date. The pair had been set to square off on July 11 before Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and was later set for Dec. 12 but delayed again after Usman decided he needed more time to prepare. As of mid-November, Burns enters this fight as approximately a (+190) betting underdog. He'll be giving up five inches in reach to Usman, who already owns superior averages in terms of striking volume and striking defense. Burns can often lean on his wrestling when this is the case, but not only does Usman rack up takedowns at a higher rate, "The Nigerian Nightmare" has never been taken down in his UFC career.
Usman fight pushed back
October 5, 2020
The UFC welterweight title between Burns and Kamaru Usman will not take place on Dec. 12 as previously scheduled, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
This will mark the second time this fight will have been rescheduled. It was supposed to take place on July 11, but Burns had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. According to the report, Usman felt like he would not be ready by Dec. 12. There is no new date at this moment, but it seems likely to be in either January or February.
Usman bout now set for December
September 1, 2020
Burns will get his shot at the welterweight title against Kamaru Usman at the UFC event on December 12, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Burns was supposed to get his title shot back on July 11, but ultimately ended up having to pull out as he tested positive for COVID-19. Usman was able to easily discard Jorge Masvidal who stepped in for Burns on short notice. Burns will still be coming in riding a six fight win streak. This battle for the welterweight title will be on the same card as the Amanda Nunes and Megan Anderson title fight for UFC 256.
Discloses negative COVID-19 test
July 21, 2020
Burns disclosed via his personal Twitter account Monday that he is no longer positive for COVID-19.
The implication here is that Burns could soon be ready to fight, and his preference would presumably be a shot at champion Kamaru Usman. He was previously lined up to face Usman for the belt at UFC 251 on Fight Island, but the positive test forced him to withdraw, and Burns was subsequently replaced by Jorge Masvidal (Usman went on to win that fight in convincing fashion). Burns had previously received backing from UFC President Dana White that he would be next in line for a shot at the belt, but a loose acknowledgement is a lot different than ink on paper. It also appears Usman could be facing a medical suspension pending clearance of a nasal X-ray, so that may also play a role in dictating Burns' timeline for a title shot.