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UFC Fight Night: Burns vs. Woodley First Look | Odds, Betting Picks and Predictions

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Tyron Woodley. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images/AFP

The Ultimate Fighting Championship won their fight against the coronavirus in Florida this past week. Now, after a week break, Dana White & Co. return to our television sets for another stacked event. UFC Odds are already listed for the event, here’s a complete betting guide previewing Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns, including updated odds and our betting prediction.

Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns

Saturday, May 30, 2020 – 11:55 PM EDT

Opening Line: Tyron Woodley -160 at 5Dimes

There’s no rest for the wicked, and as Dana White bends the rules to enable his roster to compete during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UFC will return for the fourth time in May. On the 30th, Fight Night 175 will be live on ESPN from a location that has still yet to be disclosed. The success from UFC 249 and the other two fight night events have Dana White booking events like a man.

The main event will see the former welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley; take on the Brazilian force that is… Gilbert Burns. Although there are zero title implications, I do not doubt that the winner of this contest will be next in line for an opportunity at the strap – let’s take an early look at next week’s main event.

Tyron Woodley (19-4-1)

It’s been an agonizing wait for T-Wood’s fans, but finally, Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley will make his return to the octagon; in hopes to eventually reclaim his lost welterweight title. But, before Woodley can think about UFC gold, he’s presented with a fierce Brazilian riding a 5-fight win streak.

The two-time All-American in wrestling has been accustomed to high-level competition his entire life, attaining a Division I wrestling status gave Woodley the perfect base to begin martial arts; as he did professionally in 2009.

Throughout his UFC career, his elite level of wrestling has helped dictate the pace of his martial arts contests and if in trouble, shoot. A grappling contest is nothing new to the former champ, but with a year on the side-line can Woodley return at peak fitness?

In the summer of 2014, Woodley began punching his way into a title opportunity, finally capturing the championship from Robbie Lawler after a vicious first-round knockout. Going on to defeat the division’s best, Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson & Darren Till, the reign survived up until Kamaru Usman had his way with Woodley for 25 minutes.

Aged 38, Woodley hasn’t seemed to slow down in any significant form and I understand that he’s been absent for over a year, but at this level of competition, I’m not all that concerned – with a period that isn’t too lengthy. If Woodley is to lose this fight, I doubt preparation or “ring rust” would be the key factor.

When you’re a championship wrestler, it’s not the worst idea to pick up some submission skills along the way and Woodley holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu… an interesting point to remember. A championship wrestler and former UFC champion with a black belt in BJJ versus a 2nd Degree black belt in BJJ.

Woodley is the #1 ranked welterweight for a reason and is still a huge threat to anyone inside the top five. Making up for lost time won’t be hard, considering Woodley wasn’t granted an immediate rematch after losing to Usman; just one big win will grant him his rematch for the gold.

Coming in as -145 favorite, Woodley’s line is quickly disappearing. Now priced -190 at 5Dimes, it won’t be long before any value on Woodley’s behalf is gone.

Gilbert Burns (19-3-0)

A five-fight win streak with a knockout and a submission has catapulted Gilbert Burns right into the hot spot of the UFC welterweight division. With the former champion stood before him, Burns now has the ultimate test that’ll decide whether he can hang with top five in the division.

Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Burns grew up surrounded by the martial art form that is Jiu-Jitsu and after obtaining three World Championships through his young adult life, Burns decided to take his high-level grappling into the world of mixed martial arts.

His first seven professional fights were a mixture of grappling masterclasses and technical knockouts, catching the eye of the UFC; it wasn’t long before Burns was strapping up the UFC gloves. Since 2014, Burns has fought fourteen times under the UFC banner with an 11-3 record, mainly spent in the lightweight division.

In recent years, the success for Burns has remained untouched; five wins with two finishes against tough opposition have opened up the door during his prime years.

The wins kept coming, the competition was raised and Burns continued to impress. After his five-fight win streak against what could be described as a ‘killers row’, Burns will face the former champion and potentially put himself in the top 3 rankings of the UFC welterweight division.

How Can Burns Win the Fight?

There’s a lack of clear paths for Burns to win the fight, hence why the opening price value was golden. You would perhaps suggest that Burns has the Jiu-Jitsu advantage, which may be true, but I can’t envision the smaller athlete in Burns holding Woodley down for a significant amount of time.

So, maybe a quick take of the back or a surprise submission attempt could work for Burns. When it comes to the stand-up game, I’d give Burns the slight speed advantage but I fear once he the power of Woodley is felt, Burns will become hesitant and most likely end up becoming the
pressured fighter.

How Can Woodley Win the Fight?

We haven’t been familiar with the current state of Woodley’s in-octagon performance, but we have to remember we’re talking about the former champion and his only loss in recent times has been up against the menacing Kamaru Usman. Woodley should hold the strength advantage, striking power advantage, and defensive striking advantage. On the feet, I think his power can make a fighter like Burns hesitant, and unlike Burns’s last opponent Maia, Burns won’t find himself as the superior striker.

Does Woodley spend too much time working for TMZ? Is T-Wood’s rap career more important than fighting? I have no idea, but one thing I do know… Woodley has been defeating the welterweights best for the past five years and hasn’t given me any reason to doubt his ability.

Who Will Win the Fight?

For me, Tyron Woodley has some clear advantages, whereas Burns is still questionable at this level of competition. The price isn’t nice, but as of now, I’m siding with the former champ.

UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Tyron Woodley wins -190 with 5Dimes