Gilbert Burns notched the biggest win of his career in the main event of UFC Vegas, dominating former champion Tyron Woodley.
A sacrificial lamb, that he’d drag into deep waters. That was how former welterweight champ Tyron Woodley portrayed Gilbert Burns heading into their UFC Vegas main event. Saturday night, he’d have his chance to prove that prediction, while Burns, on an impressive run since moving up to the 170lb weight class, looked to prove he could go five rounds.
Or less, of course.
Woodley had been expected to return earlier this year. In March, he was set to face Leon Edwards. That was a fight that might have placed the winner in line for a title shot. But the coronavirus laid waste to the best-laid plans of the UFC. Instead of Edwards, Woodley now returned against the sixth-ranked Burns, in a fight where Burns had little to lose and lots to gain. It was Burns’ second fight during the pandemic, second in an empty venue. For Woodley, it was the first fight back since the loss of his title to Kamaru Usman. Over a year ago.
When the main event kicked off, Gilbert Burns quickly rocked Woodley! Burns landed a flurry that dropped Woodley and hopped into the mount and started raining down blows. Burns opened up a massive cut on Woodley that started bleeding badly. Woodley was able to power out from the bottom and make his way back to the feet. Burns looked light on his feet, landing some nice kicks to the body and to the legs of Woodley. Burns backed Woodley up to the fence and landed a nice check left hook. We headed to the second round after a dominating first round for Burns.
— UFC (@ufc) May 31, 2020
Woodley opened up the second round with an explosive combination followed by a right hand. Woodley landed another clean right hand but Burns kept moving forward. Tyron Woodley stepped in with yet another right hand and Burns landed a perfect double leg to get Woodley down to the mat, ending up in guard. Woodley worked his way back to his feet but ate a few hard punches from Burns in the process. Woodley worked for the takedown while in the clinch, but we would end the frame on the feet. Another good round in the books for Gilbert Burns.
Burns opened up with more pressure to start round three. Woodley tried to set up the right hand, but Burns was doing a good job of staying on the outside of the big right. Woodley jumped in with a combination but Burns did a good job of blocking them. Burns landed a shot that wobbled Woodley and then taunted Woodley by leaving his hands down and staring Woodley down. Burns landed a leg kick then a combination upstairs that led Woodley to talk to Burns. Interesting tactic, but Burns was doing his talking with his hands. Woodley landed a nice right hand to the body, and Burns hurt Woodley with a leg kick that wobbled him. We would then go to the championship rounds following two kicks by Burns.
Gilbert Burns looked for a takedown to start round four but was stuffed by Woodley. Woodley and Burns then took turns jostling for position in the clinch, before being separated by Herb Dean for inactivity. Woodley looked for the right hand, but was blocked. It seemed like Woodley was trying to amp himself up for the fight. Woodley looked for another right hand but it missed by a mile. Burns landed a huge combination that dropped Woodley briefly before Woodley got in on a takedown. The takedown was stuffed, and Burns got a takedown of his own. Burns looked for a guillotine to end round four but just ran out of time.
The final round had Tyron Woodley in need of a finish. He looked for a quick right hand to open the round, and Burns shot in for a takedown. Woodley stuffed the takedown, but the two remained in the clinch for the beginning half of the round. Burns seemed angry with Woodley not doing anything with the clinch, open-hand slapping the former champion. Herb Dean would separate the two, and Burns would go right back to putting the pressure on Woodley. Woodley landed a nice right hook, but Burns just ate it. Woodley jumped in for a right hand and Burns dipped in for the takedown attempt that was stuffed. Burns jumped back in with pressure to take the fight to him with seconds remaining. Woodley would mount a flurry in the final seconds, but it wouldn’t be enough.
— UFC (@ufc) May 31, 2020
What a win by Gilbert Burns. He proved why he’s a dangerous fight for anyone in the welterweight division.
Official Result: Gilbert Burns def. Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-45)