It’s a fight that was booked and subsequently cancelled more than once, but now just days away from UFC 258, Kamaru Usman is set to defend the welterweight championship against former teammate Gilbert Burns. At long last.
In this day and age of the entertainment era of MMA, very much spectacle over sport, it’s almost as if many promotions have the limiting belief that there must be bad blood between competitors for a fight to be highly marketable. But the backstory of Usman vs. Burns is far more compelling and intriguing of a story line than some fabricated beef. The story of the having two former training partners fighting each other will resonate with fans more than any promotion involving hate.
Even more so when Burns head coach Henri Hooft opts to remove himself from the board. That so as not to take sides between his current star pupil and his former student Usman.
Usman is aptly named the Nigerian Nightmare. He is one of the scariest individuals on the roster, and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for how great of a champion he is. Gilbert Burns is likewise an absolute terror that could spark Usman very early in the fight with his patent aggressive blitz, shooting to kill from the opening bell.
Simply put: The appeal of Usman vs Burns is it’s authenticity.
For more of our main event preview for UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns, check out the video above.