UFC 258 Review, Analysis, and Predictions » UFC Free Pass
UFC 258 Review, Analysis, and Predictions
UFC 2021 will be on the screens of ESPN+ this Saturday (February 13, 2021), when the undisputed welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his title for the third time against Gilbert Burns, under the coaching of Mr. Usman, Henry Huft.
The main card, consisting of five fights, also includes the return of the prodigy in mixed martial arts (MMA), Macy Barber. After a serious knee injury, she will face a dangerous opponent, Alexa Grasso.
Our regular lead on the main card was supposed to disappear for a couple of days after putting all his money on the Chiefs match last week, so I'm replacing him again. Our predictions for the UFC 258 qualifiers, odds analysis, and analysis of the entire event from Andrew Richardson can be found here.
Here we go...

Weight class 170 lbs (~77 kg): Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (17-1) vs. Gilbert “Durinho” Burns (19-3)

An unsolicited fact about me: I am frankly sad when promising fighters do not realize their potential. At some point, the same situation occurred with Burns. Despite the surprisingly successful body structure and the strongest force of the blow, combined with one of the best indicators in the fight, “Durinho” rolled to the results of 3-3, overpowered on his feet by Rashid Magomedov, defeated by Michel Prazeres and sent to the knockout by Dan Hooker.
It was very nice to see him finally fit in the welterweight division, he certainly earned this title with dominating victories against such difficult opponents as Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia, and Tyron Woodley. But, unfortunately, these achievements will only make his defeat more distressing.
In addition to avoiding the need to lose a huge amount of weight before a fight, Burns ' recent success has largely been through hard work and exercise. A new cardio program and enhanced throwing training have made him a dangerous opponent even without the overwhelming size advantage he boasted before the transformation. Even so, trying to strangle Usman is useless, as due to his incredible strength, talent for fighting and high endurance, he will be able to come out victorious from any grappling.
Thus, Burns has 2 options: to defeat Usman in a fight on his feet, or to hope that Usman will be the initiator of the throw, which will allow him to attack from below. Neither option is particularly feasible. Obviously, Burns hits more than hard enough, but like many of Usman's past opponents, it's very difficult to achieve a good hitting rhythm when your opponent is able to pin you against the wall for a few minutes. In addition, Usman has not yet shown any weaknesses in the octagon, while Burns has been defeated several times.
If you think about the extra features, Burns is more capable at the top than at the bottom. Prazeres proved this with a confident victory over him, and he is far from the first to do so. If Usman decides to pin Burns to the floor and buy some time, the second is unlikely to be able to resist it in any way.
Burns has a couple of tricks available for using openings to his advantage, but an experienced fighter like Usman is unlikely to miss many of these tricks. The active use of grabs and holding the opponent from above will determine Usman as the winner.

Prediction: Usman defeats Burns by mutual consent

185 lbs (~84kg): Kevin Gastelum (16-6) vs. Ian” The Hurricane " Heinish (14-3)

A run of three defeats is a serious factor, but Gastelum's current position cannot be underestimated. Tough and technically strong opponents, such as Israel Adesanya and Darren Till, gave him problems, and sometimes immediately falling into the grips, you can not make a strong reputation for yourself. Jack Hermansson is still in the top ten in the middleweight division, capable of knocking out black belts in a single punch. Therefore, Gastelum is still not a contender for victory.
However, if he can't beat Heinish, that's a problem.
I'm not trying to discount Heinish's abilities, of course; he's a good fighter with great stamina and some unexpected power in his punches. He is one of those fighters that Gastelum, being a more experienced boxer, should be able to defeat. Heinish doesn't have enough time to gain enough pace on the Gastelum for 3 rounds, so he remains against an opponent with a striking advantage without an ace up his sleeve.
As long as Gastelum stays on his feet, it's a losing battle. This is obvious, but far from guaranteed; he loses by size, and Heinish consistently has more than 10 shots or attempts. Although " Hurricane” is not an expert in successful throws, and therefore between takedowns will be beaten by the opponent.
If Gastelum has not lost experience, he is a capable enough fighter to break through all the swings of Heinish and stop the attempts of strong blows. He relies on difficult combinations to get back into the winner's bracket.

Prediction: Gastelum defeats Heinish by mutual consent
13-02-2021, 12:13
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