UFC 257 saw the return of the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor, as he faced a former foe in the form of UFC vet Dustin Poirier on the first major card of 2021. Conor was a firm favorite to win but lost by TKO after a flurry of punches in the second. What next for the Irish superstar?
We return to the octagon for the second major UFC event of the year, as Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his belt against a monster of a man in the form of Brazilian Gilbert Burns.
The event is slated for February 14th at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. There are a number of other excellent matchups on the card, which we’ll cover in this article. Also, for those wondering where you can watch the UFC, stay tuned because we’ll provide all the details here.
UFC 258 Picks & Predictions
While Dana White has announced the majority of the card, there are still likely to be some surprises yet to come. As such, do keep checking back with us and we’ll post the latest fights, odds, and predictions for UFC 258.
We will dig deeper into the main fights on the card below, but before that, we’ll list all the fights that are due to take place on the second weekend of February. There is always a chance things will change, with injuries and illnesses, so be sure to check back and get the latest from our UFC experts.
UFC 258: Main Fights
Kamaru Usman (17-1-0) vs Gilbert Burns (19-3-0)
Maycee Barber (8-1-0) vs Alexa Grasso (12-3-0)
Kelvin Gastelum (16-6-0) vs Ian Heinisch (14-3-0)
Pedro Munhoz (18-5-0) vs Jimmie Rivera (23-4-0)
Julian Marquez (7-2-0) vs Maki Pitolo (13-7-0)
Polyana Viana (11-4-0) vs Mallory Martin (7-3-0)
Gabriel Green (9-3-0) vs Phillip Rowe (7-2-0)
Anthony Hernandez (7-2-0) vs Rodolfo Vieira (7-0-0)
Kamaru Usman (1.36) vs Gilbert Burns (3.10)
’The Nigerian Nightmare’ will enter the octagon for the first time since last summer on Saturday the 14th to defend his title against his former training partner and a very strong opponent. Usman hasn’t lost since 2013, which is reflected in the odds posted by top UFC betting sites.
Regardless of what the UFC betting odds say, this will be a tight contest. As we saw in the epic fight at UFC 245 between Covington and Usman, it can take a while for the Nigerian to take his opponents down – though he did eventually and won that fight by TKO.
The challenger has been fighting a lot in recent years, fighting 6 times since his loss to Dan Hooker in 2018. At 34-years of age, Burns is in his prime and fighting with the kind of aggression he’ll need to beat Usman.
Gilbert Burns possesses lethal striking and reminds us a lot of Kelvin Gastelum, with regards to certain aspects of his fighting style. Another major string to this fighter’s bow is his absolutely lethal ground game. This will be something the champ must be wary of on the night.
Maycee Barber was unfortunate to lose out in her last fight, conceding the fight via unanimous decision in the third round to a very experienced fighter in the form of Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 246.
Barber wasn’t happy with that result and will be keen to bounce back at the UFC APEX. However, Grasso is no push-over and has shown she can perform against a variety of opponents’ skill sets. Her recent form has been patchy, with 3 wins and 3 losses in her last 6 fights – with a unanimous decision win over Ji Yeon Kim in her last.
At 27-years old she’s moving into her prime and a record of 12-3 speaks for itself. The Mexican has great power and does possess the explosive power to end fights early. This will be an excellent bout and one which could quite easily swing either way.
Kelvin Gastelum against Israel Adesanya at UFC 236 will go down as one of the greatest fights of all time. Kelvin Gastelum turned into a human punching bag in the 5th round and showed the world that he can take a real beating while delivering potentially knock out blows in either hand.
Lately, he’s been on a poor run of form, losing his last 3 fights, and looking at theUFC events schedule he hasn’t picked up a win since 2018. However, he’s looking better than ever and at 29-years old, he’s determined to turn things around.
Fighting out of Colorado, Gastelum’s opponent Heinisch is a talented fighter. He’s slighter taller and has the edge with reach, but as we’ve seen before this will make little odds to Gastelum.
He won his last fight against Gerald Meerschaert, winning the fight via punches just after the first minute. He lost his two previous bouts, both via decision, but looks to be on the up. This will be another excellent fight, but we think this will be the one where Gastelum turns his luck around.