Who’s next for Kamaru Usman? That’s the question on every fight fan’s mind following his dismantling of Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251.
The Nigerian Nightmare is 16-1 overall and has looked unbeatable of late, winning the UFC welterweight title on March 2, 2019 and successfully defending it twice since. His lone defeat came back in 2013.
The logical answer for Usman’s next fight is Gilbert Burns. Burns was supposed to get his title shot this past weekend but was forced to withdraw from the fight following a positive COVID-19 test.
Because that fight was already on the schedule, we know exactly how the odds for it will look. Usman was a -240 favorite over Burns leading up to their potential fight, implying a 70.6 chance of winning. Meanwhile Burns came in at +200, which gave him a 30.6% implied probability.
Unfortunately for Burns, it may not be that simple. What if Burns can’t fight due to lingering COVID-19 symptoms or other unforeseen reasons?
In that case, it’s likely we’d see Usman take on Leon Edwards in a rematch of a 2015 bout that Usman won by unanimous decision.
Edwards is the No. 4 ranked welterweight in the UFC with an 18-3 record overall. That loss to Usman was his last defeat. He’s won 8 straight fights in the UFC.
In preparation of a potential rematch, FOX Bet has already priced up the odds for Usman vs. Edwards II.
As of Sunday afternoon, Usman is a -250 favorite over the challenger, which implies a 71.4% chance of keeping his title. Edwards sits at +180 in this potential fight, according to FOX Bet, meaning they give him a better shot of beating Usman (35.7%) than Burns.