The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s summer spectacle ‘Fight Island’ commences next weekend with UFC 251. UFC Odds are now available, so here’s a complete betting guide taking the first look at Kamaru Usman and Gilbert Burns, including updated odds and our betting prediction.
*Editor’s note: After testing positive for COVID-19, Gilbert Burns will not fight at UFC 251. It remains to be seen if Usman vs. Burns takes place at a later date or if someone will replace Burns for next week. Keep checking SBR Picks for the latest UFC news and predictions.
Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns
Saturday, July 11, 2020 – 11:59 PM EDT at ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi
It’s that time of the week again, where we focus on the main event of next week’s UFC headliner. A challenging task presented while trying to focus solely on one fight when UFC 251 is completely stacked with talent from top to bottom, but we’ll do our best.
#1 ranked welterweight contender Gilbert Burns and current champion Kamaru Usman will square up in the main event of the evening, in a fight of epic proportions as teammates and friends will go head to head for UFC gold.
The UFC welterweight champion has built a legacy off cardio and offensive grappling abilities. With his next title defence up against his training partner and friend in Gilbert Burns – can ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ impose said game plan we’ve seen dominate the division?
Born and raised in Nigeria for the first eight years of his life, Usman stems from humble beginnings; it wasn’t always championship gold and UFC limelight. The Usman family would often struggle to keep the electricity turned on in a house without plumbing, and a move to live the American dream eventually became real for the Usman’s and Kamaru would begin his martial arts journey in the wrestling gym.
A collegiate wrestling background has been the fuel to Usman’s fire while fighting inside a UFC octagon. With just six professional fights to his name when Dana White gave him the call-up for ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality television series, Usman doubted himself on how prepared he was for the highest level of MMA competition. He soon proved himself wrong and to this day holds a near-perfect professional record of 16-1.
After dominating TUF, Usman’s first four appearances in the UFC all ended via a decision victory for the Nigerian, which gives some considerable reasoning as to why his name flew under the radar for so long. The name Usman could no longer be ignored; dominant wins over Demian Maia and Rafael Dos Anjos lead him right into title contention. A new-age champion was born, Tyron Woodley – utterly outclassed, Colby Covington was unable to dethrone him, and now Kamaru Usman will make his second title defense within seven months.
Kamaru Usman Odds
Usman opened as the -175 betting favorite, public bettors have once again pilled in on the early odds, realizing that the line is entirely accurate. Now sitting for -235 were faced with a price that would be entirely unethical for a profitable betting system, unless of course, you believe Usman holds a 70% chance of winning the contest.
The fastest rising welterweight star in mixed martial arts has the potential to decrown his sparring partner to become the undisputed champion. Gilbert Burns had no problem in calling out Kamaru Usman after his ultra-impressive unanimous decision victory over former champion Tyron Woodley. As the only fighter to ever knockout the Jiu-Jitsu legend Demian Maia, the track record for a new and improved Gilbert Burns at 170lbs was destined for a title opportunity.
Born and raised in Brazil, Burns has a long background in martial arts with the help of some family traditions that encouraged him into a career of competitive sports combat.
Fun fact – What are the chances that Rafael Dos Anjos and his longtime friend Gilbert Burns attended the same high-school, followed the same career path and each of them ended up fighting for the highest level organization on the planet. Not only that, but they’re also both fighting in the welterweight division, and if Burns can shock the world, they’ll have both held UFC gold.
Storytime aside, Gilbert Burns posses a considerable threat to the champion, an inside look into the career and evolution of Kamaru Usman has been next to the challenger since they began training together in 2013.
Gilbert Burns Odds
The opening line for Volkov sat at +150, a first assessment from the bookmaker and too risky to think about betting at the time of odds released. However, after the considerable line movement, you can now find Gilbert Burns priced around the +200 region at the best sportsbooks, in turn, shifting the value towards the underdog.
How Can Burns Win the Fight?
What secrets does Burns hold over Usman, we do not know. We do know that Gilbert will be looking to come out eager to end this fight early, standing the test of time against one of the greatest cardio machines since GSP… isn’t an easy task.
Striking at range, avoiding the clinching game and potentially out-striking Usman seems like the viable plan for Burns, hoping to find an early submission or technical knockout seems like the challengers only hope.
How Can Usman Win the Fight?
He won’t be remembered for his highlight reel victories and spinning knockout wheel kicks, but Kamaru Usman has maintained a solid game-plan with a dedication to getting the job done since his arrival to the sport.
The game plan would usually seem obvious, but with a new camp up in Colorado with Trevor Witman and sparring partners such as Justin, Gaethje could give us a fresher evolved striking version of Kamaru Usman. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it and Usman’s offensive grappling has overcome nine UFC welterweight challengers.
Who Will Win the Fight?
A severe prediction to make, as too many variables, become presented in the main event of the evening but I lean towards Usman prevailing against Burns. I envision a massive offensive attack from Burns during the first fifteen minutes, with Usman potentially losing a round or two but eventually taking over with the unforgiving pressure and walk-down attack.
With the unknown present between both fighters, I’d rather take a risk in placing a wager on the fight to end with the judge’s opinion.