UFC 251: Usman vs Burns canceled due to COVID-19

Jun 26, 2020 |
UFC 251: Usman vs Burns canceled due to COVID-19
Kamaru Usman was set to defend his UFC welterweight title with a fight against Gilbert Burns at UFC 251, but the bout was postponed after Burns tested positive for COVID-19 on July 4.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Kamaru Usman was set to defend his UFC welterweight title with a fight against Gilbert Burns at UFC 251, but the bout was postponed after Burns tested positive for COVID-19 on July 4.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

07/04 UPDATE: Following news that Gilbert Burns has tested positive for COVID-19, this fight has been postponed until a later date. No replacement fighter has been announced as of yet to take on Kamaru Usman at UFC 251.

Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns is the main event on a loaded fight card for UFC 251: Usman vs Burns betting on Saturday, July 11. UFC odds have the reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Usman as a -205 favorite with the No. 1 contender Burns installed as a +166 underdog.

With both fighters boasting similar styles and entering the bout in terrific form, this should be a fantastic fight to headline the first of four UFC events to be held at “Fight Island” on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

We break down the UFC betting odds for this welterweight title bout and give our best picks and predictions for UFC 251: Usman vs Burns.

Usman vs Burns UFC 251 odds

Method of Victory Kamaru Usman Gilbert Burns
Win outright -205 +166
Win by KO/TKO +460 +550
Win by points +105 +750
Win by submission +1,400 +500
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Usman vs Burns betting preview

The reigning champion Usman enters UFC 251 on a 15-fight winning streak and is a perfect 10-0 in his UFC career. He's fresh off a TKO victory over Colby Covington at UFC 245 last December. In his previous fight before that he dominated Tyron Woodley over the full 25 minutes to claim the welterweight title.

The "Nigerian Nightmare" began his career as an expert wrestler but has since rounded out his talents becoming just as impressive on his feet.

 

Burns and Usman have trained together for years with Sanford MMA in Florida, with Usman even in Burns' corner at some fights. Burns is riding in on a six-fight winning streak after also defeating Woodley via decision in a dominating performance on May 30. Prior to that, he had a first-round TKO victory against fellow Brazilian Demian Maia in March.

"Durinho" has jumped between the lightweight and welterweight divisions, making the move back to the 170-pound weight class last August. Like Usman, Burns started off as more of a grappling specialist but has improved his striking under the tutelage of renowned kickboxing coach Henri Hooft. 

Usman vs Burns Tale of the Tape

Kamaru Usman   Gilbert Burns
33 Age 33
6-foot Height 5-foot-10
170 lbs Weight 170 lbs
76 inches Reach 71 inches
16-1 (6 KO) Record 19-3 (6 KO)

Usman vs Burns UFC predictions and betting picks

PREDICTION: Usman -205 - Burns is fantastic when it comes to submissions with his BJJ skills but Usman is excellent at both takedowns and using his strength to gain superior positioning on the mat. Usman's ability to switch stances and keep constant pressure will force Burns on to the back foot. 

Look for Usman to try to keep this fight standing up and use his five-inch reach advantage to chip away at Burns. He showed that he could trade punches with Covington, and Burns doesn't have nearly as much striking ability. Take Usman to get the W and jump on this line as early as possible to avoid the likely shift in odds once money starts flowing towards the champ.

 

PREDICTION: Usman by points +105 - Of Burn's 19 wins, 14 came via finishes so don't be surprised if he goes for a submission or a knockout win. That said, Usman has terrific submission defense and uses his length very well in the clinch. Burns also likely doesn't have the stopping power to put the Nigerian Nightmare to sleep. 

Since we're predicting an Usman victory, it's more likely that the favorite will try to control the fight and utilize his incredible cardio to push the pace and tire Durinho out. It doesn't give the greatest payout but the "Usman to win by points" has the best chance of hitting. 

PREDICTION: Fight to go the distance Yes -130 - Eight of Usman's last 10 fights have gone the distance, and his fight against Covington was less than 60 seconds away from going the full five rounds as well. Four of Burns' last six fights have also gone the distance. 

Both fighters are the type to try to wear away at their opponent, as opposed to going in for the killing blow at every possible opportunity. Even when Burns landed some strong early strikes against Woodley he exercised caution and took the fight to the mat when he could. Expect this fight to go to the cards. 

More UFC 251 predictions

Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns is just one of many exciting fights slated for the UFC 251 card. Check out our best picks and predictions for these other bouts taking place on July 11:

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway

Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo

Jessica Andrade vs. Rose Namajunas

Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant

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