Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns Expected as UFC 251 Main Event

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Kamaru Usman, UFC 235 weigh-in UFC 240 UFC 244
Kamaru Usman Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

Now that we know where Fight Island is, it’s the fights that matter. And on Tuesday, UFC President Dana White let a bunch of them slip, at least for UFC 251.

“We literally just got [Kamaru] Usman vs. [Gilbert] Burns done,” White announced on EPSN. “So that card [UFC 251] has Usman vs. Burns, Volkanovski vs. Holloway, Petr Yan vs. Aldo, Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas, and Ribas vs. VanZant.”

“The first card in Abu Dhabi is ridiculous,” he boasted. And he’s not wrong, though Jorge Masvidal and some of the other welterweight contenders may scoff at Burns earning the title shot.

“Durinho” has been on a tear since moving to the 170lb weight class, however. Barely over a week ago at UFC Vegas, Burns (19-3) earned a one-sided unanimous decision over ex-champ Tyron Woodley. That extended his win streak to six, with four coming at 170lbs.

Kamaru Usman (16-1) successfully defended his title for the first time last December at UFC 245, against the controversial Colby Covington. Usman remains undefeated in the UFC since winning The Ultimate Fighter 21 in 2015. That streak has seen him pick up wins over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, before winning the 170lb title from Woodley in March 2019.

UFC 251 will also feature, as noted, title fights between Jose Aldo and Petr Yan, plus Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway, for the bantamweight and featherweight titles respectively.

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