UFC 256 could feature two welterweight title fights. Yes, that’s right two. According to a report from TMZ, undisputed welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is set defend his title against Gilbert Burns on the card, and a BMF title rematch between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz is also in the works for the event.
Usman was originally expected to defend his title against Burns in July. Regrettably, Burns, who is riding a huge win over Tyron Woodley, was forced out of the fight when he tested positive for COVID-19. He was then replaced by Masvidal, who Usman defeated by unanimous decision.
Masvidal entered that short-notice fight with Usman with three highlight reel victories in the rear-view. His streak began when he knocked out England’s Darren Till in London in March, 2019. He then built on that momentum with a record-setting, five-second flying knee knockout win over Ben Askren in July, 2019. After those victories, he was booked for the first-ever BMF title fight with Diaz in November. He won that fight via stoppage due to cuts.
The UFC’s plan to book Usman, Burns, Masvidal and Diaz all on one card is certainly no coincidence. In the coronavirus era, when fights are canceled with far greater frequency than normal, the promotion is clearly covering its bases by stacking the card with top welterweights. Should one fighter be forced out of a fight, another could be called upon to replace them.
The winners could also conceivably be matched up with one another down the road, particularly if Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal both come out on top. Given that their first fight occurred on short notice, many fans have been curious as to what might happen if they fight again with the benefit of full training camps tailored to each other’s skills.
UFC 256 is scheduled for December 12. Who do you think will come out on top in these dynamite welterweight matchups?