A scheduled welterweight title fight that was supposed to take place in December at UFC 256, will no longer be happening according to ESPN. Ariel Helwani was first to report that a scheduled fight between champion Kamaru Usman and top-contender Gilbert Burns is off, as Usman needs more time before stepping back into the Octagon.
The Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns UFC welterweight title is off on Dec. 12, per sources. It doesn’t have a new date at the moment, but current talk is January of February. Usman needs a little more time. No new main event yet for UFC 256.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 5, 2020
Damon Martin of MMA Fighting added that while the fight had been targeted for December 12, the contracts were never sent out and signed for the fight between Usman and Burns, and a new date between the two is being targeted for early 2021.
From my understanding the fight was always targeted for that date but contracts were never issued. https://t.co/9xN5sPO94b
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) October 5, 2020
Usman most recently competed at UFC 251 in July when he defeated Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal who was stepping in to face the champion on just six days notice. The win over Masvidal was Usman’s second title defense and his 16th consecutive win in his professional career.
This will be the second time the title fight between Usman and Burns has had to be cancelled as the two were set to meet at UFC 251, but Burns had to withdraw after testing positive for COVID-19. It was after Burns had to withdraw that Masvidal stepped in but Usman would go on to defeat him by unanimous decision.
With the news of Usman vs Burns being off once again, the UFC will be looking for a new main event for their December 12 PPV, and the rumors have already been circling about a potential return for Conor McGregor, who has had recent back-and-forth engagements with Dana White in the public eye about fight negotiations. While having issues with White and the UFC, McGregor took it upon himself to challenge former opponent Dustin Poirier to a charity exhibition match, which Poirier accepted.
After McGregor made his own challenge to Poirier which he added would have “nothing to do with the UFC” Dana White added that he has made an offer to both fighters to compete in a fight with the UFC, but there has been no confirmation if the fight will happen.
UFC 256 is set to take place on December 12 at the UFC Apex is Las Vegas, Nevada and only three fights are currently set for the event including women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes defending her title against contender Megan Anderson.