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Report: Usman vs. Burns scratched from UFC 256, could take place in early 2021

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Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns will likely take place early next year.

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UFC 251: Usman v Masvidal Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

A welterweight title bout between reigning champion Kamaru Usman and top contender Gilbert Burns was expected to headline UFC 256 on Dec. 12 but, according to sources close to MMA Fighting, the fight has been shelved until early 2021.

Burns was originally scheduled to challenge Usman for the welterweight title at UFC 251, but ‘Durinho’ was forced to pull out of the matchup after testing positive for coronavirus. BMF titleholder Jorge Masvidal stepped in as Burns’ late replacement but lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Burns, 34, is on an impressive six-fight win streak and holds standout victories over Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia, and Tyron Woodley. His five-round thrashing of Woodley at UFC on ESPN 9 saw the Brazilian catapult into the top-three and cement himself as the next challenger to Usman’s welterweight throne.

Usman, 33, is undefeated in the UFC at 12-0 (17-1 MMA) and, since dethroning ‘T-Wood’ at UFC 235, has gone on to defend his welterweight title twice, sporting wins over Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.

UFC 256, which is currently without a main event, is expected to take place on December 12 at a yet to be determined location.