Kamaru Usman says he didn’t get into mixed martial arts for fame or money. Instead, he wanted to prove he could be one of the best in such a demanding and dangerous sport. Usman is determined to build on his growing legacy when he takes on second-ranked Gilbert Burns on Saturday in the main event of UFC 258 in Las Vegas. The main UFC 258 fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET from the Apex facility and is anchored by a battle between two of the sport’s most well-rounded fighters. Usman has won all 12 of his UFC fights, including two dominant title defenses. His third comes against the confident and surging Burns, who earned the fight behind a six-bout winning streak.
Usman is looking for his third title defense, while the second-ranked Burns will hope to make the most of his first title shot. Usman is a -270 favorite (risk $270 to win $100), while Burns is a +230 underdog in the latest Usman vs. Burns odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event, the latest UFC 258 odds list Alexa Grasso at -140 as she takes on Maycee Barber (+120) in a meeting of women’s flyweight contenders. Before making any UFC 258 picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 24 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $22,000. Already in 2021, the accomplished MMA analyst has built on his memorable 2020 run and has now connected on 26 of his last UFC 36 main-event selections, a stretch that includes a streak of five straight underdogs.
Just last week at UFC Fight Night, Marley told SportsLine members to back prospect Alexander Volkov (-180) against respected veteran Alistair Overeem in a matchup of top-10 heavyweights in the main event. He called for an early stoppage from Volkov and was proven correct when the hard-punching Russian rocked Overeem in the first round and finished him in the second. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, Marley has examined every fight on the UFC 258 card and locked in his picks. You can only see his coveted UFC 258 predictions here.
UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns preview
Marley knows the main event provides an intriguing matchup between fighters who have similar skill sets. Usman and Burns are both explosive wrestlers and grapplers who are known for nonstop pressure that negates their opponent’s offensive attack.
Usman (17-1) has shown he is one of the most dominant UFC champions of this generation, although he is far from the most popular. This is in large part because the soft-spoken fighter is hesitant to engage in callouts or trash talking and is often visibly uncomfortable when he tries. He’s often been panned by UFC fans for verbal blunders such as his infamous quote about fighting at 30 percent after a win over Emil Meek in January 2018.
However, even his most ardent critics can’t deny Usman has proven himself in the cage. He seized the title with a masterful performance against Woodley and followed it up with a fifth-round stoppage of bad boy Colby Covington. The Nigeria-born Usman, 33, also had little trouble dismantling Masvidal, who was the Fighter of the Year in 2019 on the strength of three spectacular knockout finishes.
But Usman could be in for his toughest challenge yet against Burns, who is arguably a stronger and more explosive version of the champion himself. The rugged 34-year-old Brazilian made his UFC debut in 2014 and started his stint with the promotion with a 6-3 record while mostly flying under the radar of widespread recognition.
However, Burns saw his stock soar last year, starting with a first-round knockout of perennial contender Demian Maia last March. He followed it up with an impressive showing against the fading Woodley in a fight that looked similar to Usman’s bout against the former champ. You can only see who to back here.
UFC 258 predictions
We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC 258 predictions here: He is backing Polyana Viana (+135) to upset Mallory Martin (-155) in a meeting of women’s flyweight prospects.
Martin (7-3) came to the attention of UFC brass with a victory two years ago on “Dana White’s Contender Series” and has since split two fights with the promotion. The 27-year-old Denver native received a Performance of the Night bonus for her second-round submission of Hannah Cifers in August of last year.
Viana (11-4) won her UFC debut in February 2018 against Maia Stevenson before dropping three straight, including a decision loss to Cifers. The 28-year-old Brazilian got back on track, and arguably saved her spot on the UFC roster, with a first-round armbar of Emily Whitmire last August.
“Martin is the better wrestler, but Viana is the better and more dangerous grappler. I am going to lean with the underdog to win on the ground and I think she’ll pick up another submission,” Marley told SportsLine.
How to make UFC 258 picks
Marley also has strong picks for Burns vs. Usman and every other bout on the UFC 258 fight card. He’s also backing one fighter who “is the faster fighter and better boxer” to get a decision victory. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Usman vs. Burns? And how exactly does each fight end? Check out the latest UFC 258 odds below and then visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight, all from the incomparable expert who’s up more than $22,000 on MMA in the past two years, and find out.
UFC 258 odds
Kamaru Usman (-270) vs. Gilbert Burns (+230)
Alexa Grasso (-140) vs Maycee Barber (+120)
Kelvin Gastelum (-215) vs. Ian Heinisch (+185)
Jimmie Rivera (-135) vs. Pedro Munhoz (+115)
Julian Marquez (-165) vs. Maki Pitolo (+145)
Bobby Green (-270) vs. Jim Miller (+230)
Rodolfo Vieira (-410) vs. Anthony Hernandez (+330)
Belal Muhammad (-400) vs. Dhiego Lima (+320)
Mallory Martin (-155) vs. Polyana Viana (+135)
Ricky Simon (-260) vs. Brian Kelleher (+220)
Gabriel Green (-130) vs. Philip Rowe (+110)
Miranda Maverick (-145) vs. Gillian Robertson (+125)