Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will ask reigning welterweight champion Kamaru Usman to defend his 170-pound strap against red-hot division contender Gilbert Burns in the upcoming UFC 251 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, set for Sat., July 11, 2020 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The promotion was hoping to book Usman against bitter rival Jorge Masvidal, according to ESPN, but could not come to terms with “Gamebred” and moved on to “Durinho.”
Usman (16-1) captured the crown with a five-round decision over Tyron Woodley back in early 2019, then followed that up with a technical knockout win over Colby Covington to close out the year. As for Burns (19-3), he can seemingly do no wrong, racking up six straight victories including last month’s rout over “The Chosen One.”
“After it looked like the Masvidal fight was going to fall through, the UFC did reach out to Leon Edwards’ camp to see if he would fight Kamaru Usman on July 11,” Ariel Helwani wrote on Twitter. “But the UK lockdown proved to be problematic for Edwards on short notice fight.”
The UFC 251 PPV fight card is also expected to feature the featherweight rematch pitting Alexander Volkanovski against Max Holloway, while Petr Yan and Jose Aldo collide for the vacant 135-pound strap (full details here).