The UFC’s first trip to Fight Island will take place on July 11 for UFC 251 and after days of rumors, the promotion for a main event for the historic card.
Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman (16-1) will defend his belt against Gilbert Burns (19-3) in the main event of UFC 251. That bout was made official by UFC president Dana White on ESPN’s “First Take” yesterday.
Usman last fought at UFC 245 in December, when he finished Colby Covington late in the fifth-round of their epic back-and-forth fight. He was expected to face BMF champion Jorge Masvidal, but Masvidal and the UFC have been butting heads over contract negotiations. While Masvidal tries to figure out his contract, Burns used the opportunity to slide into the title fight.
Burns has been on a roll since moving back up to 170 pounds. He’s posted a perfect 4-0 record, including a win in his last outing over former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley on May 30 at UFC on ESPN 9.
Earlier this week, Burns tweeted that he was back in training, implying that it was for this fight.
Guess what? I’m back in camp! 😤— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) June 8, 2020
The Usman and Burns fight is one of three title fights expected to take place on the card. A featherweight championship rematch against Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway was announced a few days ago, which will serve as the co-main event. The card is expected to add a vacant bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo as well.
Fight Island is located in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
According MMA Junkie, the UFC 251 lineup has the following bouts, which are listed below.
Champ Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns – for welterweight title
Champ Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway – for featherweight title
Jose Aldo vs. Petr Yan – for vacant bantamweight title
Amanda Ribas vs. Paige VanZant
Frankie Edgar vs. Pedro Munhoz
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Ciryl Gane
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Jiri Prochazka