Former UFC welterweight contender Ben Askren thinks Kamaru Usman, who is a heavy favorite will retain his 170lb title by beating former teammate Gilbert Burns tonight.

‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ is looking to make the third defence of his title in the UFC 258 main event. Since capturing the belt in dominant fashion by beating Tyron Woodley, Usman has made two successful defences.

The first came against Colby Covington who went to war with the champ before ultimately being stopped in the fifth and final round at UFC 245.

Next up, Jorge Masvidal took on the champ at UFC 251. ‘Gamebred’ accepted the late notice call but was no match for Usman who dominated the UFC fan favourite throughout their 25-minute fight.

Burns is the latest welterweight tasked dethroning the champ. ‘Durinho’ established himself as the top welterweight contender with signature wins over BJJ wizard Demian Maia and former welterweight king Tyron Woodley.

Askren is currently preparing to return to combat sport to face YouTube celebrity Jake Paul in a boxing match on April 17.

In an interview with LowKickMMA ahead of the bout ‘Funky’ was initially coy when asked to predict the UFC 258 main event.

“Oh man,” Askren said. “I was struggling because I don’t really like either one of these guys. I don’t really know who I want to win. I don’t like either one of them.”

Askren eventually stumped for Usman but added the fighters themselves will have a good idea of who will emerge victorious at UFC 258.

“I would lean towards Marty,” Askren said. “But, I’m not really all that sure of it. Obviously, they’ve fought in camp together. They kinda know who’s going to win. I’m sure they have a good idea. So, I would lean Marty.”

Do you agree with Ben Askren? Is Kamaru Usman likely to beat Gilbert Burns at UFC 258?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.