After a couple of failed attempts to get Gilbert Burns in the same octagon with welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, the two men are finally ready to fight.
The fight is taking place Saturday, Feb. 13 in Las Vegas. These formers teammates turned rivals will go head to head in this main event with the belt on the line. Burns has the opportunity to end Usman’s perfect (12-0) UFC record.
Before the main event, there are many interesting fights to watch. The co-main event has a pair of rising stars at women’s flyweight looking to put on a show. Also, a pair of middleweight fights fill the main card with redemption storylines.
Let’s take look at what to expect to see Saturday night in this UFC 258 preview.
Julian Marquez -170 vs. Maki Pitolo +145 (Middleweight)
Pitolo (13-7) earned his shot in the UFC after a 97 second TKO on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019. Pitolo hasn’t had much success going just 1-3 in the UFC promotion. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak with one loss by submission and the other by decision.
Pitolo has 7 knockouts and 3 wins by decisions in his 13 wins and has been submitted 3 times and knocked out 2 times in his 7 losses. This fight could be bad news for Pitolo because Marquez (7-2) has shown that he is a good finisher.
Marquez also reached the UFC by knocking out his opponent on the Contender Series. Marquez has not fought in a while due to a sidelining injury and then failed his weigh in to come back this past November.
Alex Grasso -135 vs. Maycee Barber +115 (Women’s Flyweight)
After piercing through her first 8 fights with seven stoppage wins Barber (8-1) suffered her first loss. Her loss took place back in January 2020 to Roxanne Modafferi by decision. Barber tore her ACL during that fight and she was out for the whole year.
She has since recovered and says she is coming back even stronger and meaner. Grasso (12-3) has been going back and forth with wins and losses in her last 7 fights. She most recently picked up a win by decision against Ji Yeon Kim in August. Grasso has only 4 finishes in her 12 wins while Barber has 7 finishes in her 8 wins. The loser of this fight could be sitting on thin ice and could potentially fall out of the official UFC Rankings.
Kamaru Usman -280 vs. Gilbert Burns +230 (Welterweight Championship)
Usman (17-1) has been one of the most superior fighters since joining the promotion. He currently has an undefeated record of 12-0 in the Octagon.
Usman beat the brakes off of Tyron Woodley in 2019 which led him to one of the biggest fights of his career against rival Colby Covington. Usman beat Covington by TKO in the 5th round.
Usman was set to Burns in July of 2020 but Burns tested positive for Covid. This is what led Kendall hometown hero Jorge Masvidal to step into the ring against Usman. Masvidal was beaten by Usman and his wrestling tactics.
Burns (19-3) was a star during the beginning of the Covid-19. He had very one-sided wins against Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley to earn a title shot. Those two wins added to his streak of 6 wins.
Burns fights have ended in 6 knockouts, eight submissions, and 5 decisions showing he can win in every way. Usman and Burns are teammates but Usman left camp in preparation for the fight.
Even though they are teammates Usman says this fight is personal because Burns wants what he has which is Usman’s belt.