Gilbert Burns will get his crack at UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman on Saturday night, fighting the champ in the main event of UFC 258. The title fight headlines a 10-fight pay-per-view card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live updates and results from UFC 258.
Early Prelims (7:00PM EST / 4:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (PPV)
Bout 10: Kamaru Usman (17-1) vs. Gilbert Burns (19-3) (UFC Welterweight Championship)
Usman Battles Back From Early Adversity, Stops Burns With Punches To Retain UFC Welterweight Championship
Kamaru Usman showed his heavy fists on Saturday night, stopping Gilbert Burns with punches in the third round to retain his UFC Welterweight Championship for the third time.
Usman put an end to their fight early in the third round, flooring Burns with a right jab. Follow-up shots on the ground caused referee Herb Dean to step in.
Usman started to take over the fight in the second round, making a comeback after a troubling first round.
Burns had a hot start to his fight, damaging Usman in the opening round with punches.
Burns hurt Usman in the first minute of the fight, cracking him with a right hand that visibly hurt him. Usman was quick to recover from the attack.
Burns found himself in trouble in the second round, as a right hand from Usman made him shell up against the cage. Usman later connected with a jab in the fourth minute of the round that dropped Burns.
The win for Usman set a UFC record, as his 13-fight win streak is now the longest in the history of the division. The win streak includes title defences against Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal after he defeated Tyron Woodley to claim the belt in 2019.
The win was the first time a Usman fight lasted less than three full rounds since 2017.
Usman admitted afterwards that the fight was hard for him to head into given his history of training with Burns.
“It’s hard to come in without all the emotions. Gilbert [Burns] is a guy I’ve known from the start. I love him and this one was tough for me to deal with,” said Usman in his post-fight interview.
Burns got his title shot on Saturday months after he was first booked to fight for it. He was booked for a title fight in July of 2020, although that booking was cancelled on short notice after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Burns was given the title shot after putting together a five-fight win streak that included three welterweight wins. He made himself the next title contender in May by defeating former champ Tyron Woodley via decision.
Usman called out Jorge Masvidal for a second title fight afterwards.
“Any one of these fools can get it, but he [Masvidal] keeps running his mouth,” said Usman.
Bout 9: Maycee Barber (8-1) vs. Alexa Grasso (12-3) (Flyweight)
Grasso Earns Decision Win, Spoils Return of Barber
Alexa Grasso spoiled the return of Maycee Barber in the co-main event, defeating the flyweight contender with a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 & 29-28).
Grasso’s sharp striking was what allowed her to pick up a win on Saturday. Along with her striking, Grasso was able to showcase her grappling in the fight, something she did not show as much in her previous pro bouts.
“Every fight I show that I am better. You know me as a striker but as you can see I’m working hard on my jiu-jitsu and wrestling,” said Grasso in her post-fight interview.
Grasso now has two consecutive wins. Her previous fight was in August, where she took a decision victory against Ji Yeon Kim in her flyweight debut.
Barber was making a return to action after over a year outside of the cage. Barber took her first loss as a pro in her last bout, losing a decision to veteran Roxanne Modafferi.
Bout 8: Kelvin Gastelum (16-6) vs. Ian Heinisch (14-3) (Middleweight)
Gastelum Ends Losing Streak With Decision Win Against Heinisch
Kelvin Gastelum put an end to his losing streak on Saturday, putting together strikes and well-timed slam takedowns to defeat Ian Heinisch in a unanimous decision bout (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Before Saturday, Gastelum had a three-fight losing streak that came against high-level competition in the middleweight division. After losing an interim title fight to Israel Adesanya, Gastelum had lost fights to Darren Till and Jack Hermansson.
Gastelum was happy about his win, claiming he was “holding back tears.”
“Anybody that’s going through some failures and setbacks in their lives, you can do it if you get your mind right [and] get your body right,” said Gastelum in his post-fight interview.
Heinisch entered Saturday’s fight with the momentum of a stoppage win against Gerald Meerschaert from June.
Bout 7: Ricky Simon (17-3) vs. Brian Kelleher (22-11) (Featherweight)
Simon Earns Second Win of 2020, Earns Victory Over Kelleher In Long-Awaited Matchup
Ricky Simon used takedowns and ground and pound to earn a unanimous decision against Brian Kelleher on Saturday’s main card (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27). The well-rounded performance earned Simon his second win of the year.
Simon was busy with ground and pound while holding control over Kelleher during the fight.
Kelleher suffered a large cut around his right eyebrow early in the fight due to an elbow from Simon. The cut seemingly bothered Kelleher throughout the fight, often bleeding into his right eye.
A matchup between Simon and Kelleher had been in the making for months before Saturday. A booking between the bantamweights was put on a September and January card before, although both iterations of the bout were cancelled due to someone involved testing positive for COVID-19.
Kelleher’s last fight was in September, where he submitted Ray Rodriguez within a minute. Rodriguez took the fight on short notice to replace Simon.
Simon competed just a month before his fight on Saturday, defeating short notice opponent Gaetano Pirrello with an arm triangle choke.
The fight was scheduled to happen on the prelims, however, it was bumped up after a bout between Bobby Green and Jim Miller was removed from the lineup.
Bout 6: Julian Marquez (7-2) vs. Maki Pitolo (13-7) (Middleweight)
Marquez Scores Late Submission Victory Over Pitolo In Return
Julian Marquez pulled off a stoppage win late in his fight against Maki Pitolo, catching him in the final minute of the bout with an anaconda choke.
Marquez’s submission win came shortly after Pitolo shot for a takedown. Before being taken down, Marquez put together a series of strikes on Pitolo that had him hurt.
Pitolo was winning the two previous rounds in the fight, scoring with punches and attempting submissions on the ground.
Marquez was making his return to the cage after over two years outside of the cage. His last fight was a loss to Alessio Di Chirico in 2018.
Pitolo is now on a three-fight losing streak which includes losses to Darren Stewart and Impa Kasanganay.
Bout 5: Rodolfo Vieira (7-0) vs. Anthony Hernandez (7-2) (Middleweight)
Hernandez Pulls Off Upset, Hands Vieira First Loss With Choke
Anthony Hernandez pulled off a massive upset to conclude the preliminary card, submitting undefeated grappler Rodolfo Vieira in the second round with a guillotine choke.
The win saw Hernandez evade early troubles and then use striking to do damage on Vieira before finishing the fight with a choke.
Vieira was quick to score a takedown in the opening minute of the fight. He then controlled Hernandez on the ground, looking for submissions around every corner.
Vieira found himself in great trouble once he returned to the feet, as Hernandez was able to hurt him greatly with punches. Clearly rocked by shots in numerous occasions, Vieira shot for takedowns throughout the round.
Tired and hurt, Vieira was hit with a head kick and elbows in the second round. Shooting for a takedown out of desperation, Vieira was caught in a choke and tapped out.
Vieira, a previously undefeated prospect, had a pro record of seven submission wins before Saturday. He had two UFC wins before his loss.
Hernandez faced a loss in his previous fight, getting stopped within a minute by Kevin Holland back in May.
Bout 4: Dhiego Lima (15-7) vs. Belal Muhammad (17-3) (Welterweight)
Muhammad Keeps Pressure on Lima For Decision Win
Belal Muhammad kept a high pace of punches against Dhiego Lima for three rounds to earn a unanimous decision win on Saturday (30-27, 30-27 & 30-27).
Muhammad proved his conditioning in the fight, pressing forward on Lima for all three rounds and keeping Lima against the cage. Lima was able to score with shots off his backfoot, although he did not come close to matching Muhammad’s output.
The fight was Lima’s return after over a year outside of the cage.
Both fighters were wagering three-fight win streaks heading into the bout. Muhammad’s previous win was a scorecard win over Lyman Good in June of 2020.
Muhammad called out Li Jingliang in his post-fight interview.
A bout between the welterweights was first booked for a show in December, although it was moved ahead after Muhammad tested positive for COVID-19.
Bout 3: Polyana Viana (11-4) vs. Mallory Martin (7-3) (Strawweight)
Viana Secures First-Round Armbar Victory Against Martin
Polyana Viana showcased her submission skills on the prelims, catching Mallory Martin in the first round with an armbar to earn a victory. Viana’s submission win saw her capitalize on the fight being taken to the ground by Martin.
Viana had Martin in trouble for over a minute on the ground, as she searched for a triangle choke before getting a finish through an armbar.
The bout was Viana’s second consecutive armbar victory. Her previous match was in August, where she defeated Emily Whitmire to end a three-fight skid.
Martin was returning after defeating Hannah Cifers in 2020 to earn her first UFC victory.
Bout 2: Andre Ewell (17-6) vs. Chris Gutierrez (15-3-2) (Catchweight 140 lbs)
Gutierrez Pressures Ewell With Strikes For Decision Win
Chris Gutierrez showed off his striking ability against Andre Ewell to pick up a unanimous decision win on the prelims (30-26, 29-28 & 29-27).
The almost strictly stand-up fight saw Gutierrez pressure Ewell, keeping him on his back foot and defending hard shots.
The catchweight fight at 140 pounds was made on short notice. Ewell was booked for the bout after his February 6th bout against Cody Stamann was cancelled due to UFC’s COVID-19 protocol. His variety of shots saw him score strikes to the head while also damaging the legs of Ewell.
The momentum that Ewell had from two 2020 wins was stopped with his loss on Saturday.
Gutierrez returned to the win column with the victory. His previous fight, albeit not a loss, was a draw against Cody Durden that stopped a three-fight win streak.
Bout 1: Gabe Green (9-3) vs. Philip Rowe (7-2) (Welterweight)
Green Damages Rowe With Leg Kicks, Punches on His Way To First UFC Win
Gabe Green earned his first UFC win to start the prelims, defeating promotional newcomer Philip Rowe in a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 & 29-28).
Green was able to hurt Rowe early in the second round with strikes, although he slowed his own momentum by accidentally striking Rowe in the groin twice.
Green was able to target Rowe with leg kicks throughout the fight, dropping him a few times due to it in the second and third rounds.
After having good striking in the opening round, Rowe’s best work late in the fight was through controlling Green on the ground.
The first round included a hectic grappling exchange that saw Rowe attempt an armbar and Green look for an arm triangle choke.
Green bounced back from losing his UFC debut in May to Daniel Rodriguez via decision.
Rowe was making his UFC debut in the fight. Rowe earned his UFC contract in 2019, defeating Leon Shahbazyan on TV series “Dana White’s Contender Series.” He struggled to find a fight in 2020, as three fights were cancelled for various reasons.