The UFC welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and challenger Gilbert Burns that was derailed in July appears to be on track for Dec. 12 at UFC 256. The news was verified by UFC president Dana White to ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
Usman and Burns were originally slated to meet at UFC 251 on July 11 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. That bout was derailed when Burns tested positive for COVID-19 prior to boarding a plane in Las Vegas to make the trek to Yas Island.
BMF champ Jorge Masvidal stepped in for Burns on a just a few days notice. He was unable to match Usman, who won their five-round main event bout. Usman dominated the fight en route a unanimous decision with scores of 50-45, 50-45, and 49-46.
Burns has since passed multiple COVID-19 tests. He also returned to cageside, corning teammate Vicente Luque at UFC on ESPN+ 31 in early August. That should clear his way to return to the Octagon in December, assuming he and Usman both remain healthy until fight time.
The Usman vs. Burns bout is expected to join the UFC 256 fight card that also features dual-division champion Amanda Nunes in her featherweight title defense against Megan Anderson.
Kamaru Usman takes a shot at Colby Covington over NBA protest criticism
Usman recently made waves when he shot down former opponent Colby Covington's criticism of the NBA players and other professional athletes that stopped play in order to protest excessive force by police and racial injustice.
“Oh wow, you postponed your games?!” Covington wrote on Twitter. “Wanna prove you’re really about change? Quite your multi-million dollar jobs and soft privileged lives playing a kid’s game, take a massive pay cut and perform the toughest job in America. Become cops!!!!”
Usman responded by tweeting, "I really wish someone would just break your jaw already."
The champ finished Covington late in the fifth round of their UFC 245 headlining title fight.
UFC 251: Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal fight recap
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