UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns odds, preview, and pick
Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns finally face off for the welterweight title Feb. 13.
Will the UFCs best welterweight retain his title? Or will Burns thrive as the underdog once more?
Here is our preview and a pick ahead of their UFC 258 main-event showdown.
Sun, February 14 2021, 4:00 AM
Usman looks unbeatable
Usman has evolved into one of the most complete fighters in the UFC, and he is in an excellent position to continue his dominant run as welterweight champion against his former training partner.
It is going to take a special kind of fighter to unseat Usman. His stoppage of Colby Covington and domination of Jorge Masvidal suggest that he won't be slowing down any time soon.
The champ lands 4.5 significant strikes per minute, and while he is not the biggest puncher, he is incredibly accurate. Usman can also handle himself well on the ground, though he’ll opt to avoid Burns’ prodigious Brazilian Jiu Jitsu talents.
Usman is the UFC’s version of a skilled handyman, with finesse valued over speed. He takes his time and hasn’t scored a stoppage before the fifth round in more than two years.
Usman vs. Burns tale of the tape
|Kamaru Usman||-----||Gilbert Burns|
Last 5 Fights
Burns must match Usman’s strikes
Burns can’t win by following Usman’s lead. The BJJ specialist looked impressive in his beatings of Demian Maia and Tyrone Woodley in his last two fights, but he knows Usman isn’t going to be an easy target and will be a challenge to take to the canvas.
Despite his recent striking performances, Burns operates best on the mat. The big question is if his striking can trouble Usman, especially because Usman’s takedown defense is unparalleled in the division.
Usman will be too much for Burns
Usman can neutralize Burns’ best path to victory and will capitalize on keeping this a striking match. Try as he might, Burns is going to see his takedown attempts stuffed one after the other.
Burns will find he is out of his depth contesting Usman’s stand up. If Burns gets frustrated and can’t get into an offensive rhythm, Usman will be content to fight on the outside and potshot his way to victory.
This fight could unfold similarly to Usman’s methodical win over Masvidal. Bettors would be wise to consider Usman by decision (+120), but there’s no safer bet than taking the champ with the moneyline.