Former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley 19-4, 7 KOs, 5 SUBs will meet surging Gilbert Burns 18-3, 6 KOs, 8 SUBs at UFC Fight Night on Saturday, May 30th at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card streams live on ESPN+.
Tyron Woodley’s time as the 170-pound champion was...interesting to say the least. For starters, making four title defenses in a stacked division is a major accomplishment. Then again, two of those - against Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia - were among the worst title fights in UFC history. A dominant win over Darren Till had people discussing whether he was an all-timer, and Woodley did the typical champ thing of chasing money fights instead of focusing on contenders.
There was also his rap single “I’ll Beat Yo Ass”, but the less said about that the better. It’s as bad as it sounds.
There were a lot of happy people in the MMA community when Woodley lost his belt to Usman last year. What we weren’t expecting was for T-Wood to willingly give it away. For five rounds, Usman took him behind the woodshed and thrashed him, with little resistance from the champ. There were a few rounds where Woodley backed himself into the cage and threw strike totals in the single digits. It was an embarrassment on the grandest stage.
How do you come back from that? We’ll see this Saturday when Woodley meets the streaking Gilbert Burns. The matchup headlines a Fight Night card at the UFC Apex, and it’s Burns’ chance to show that he’s on a short list of legitimate title contenders in a stacked division. The Brazilian has won five straight, most recently scoring a statement TKO over the respected Demian Maia.
Let’s take a look at the UFC Fight Night 173 odds at Betcris and break down your best online betting options. Live UFC betting lets you bet on real-time line updates - so make sure to sign in on Fight Night and keep an eye on the sportsbook!
|UFC Fight Night 173: Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns Odds
|Tyron Woodley -195
|Gilbert Burns +154
|Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +137 / -173
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Woodley 2.50 / Burns 3.13
- Striking accuracy: Woodley 49% / Burns 44%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Woodley 2.58 / Burns 3.02
- Striking defense: Woodley 57% / Burns 56%
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- Takedowns per 15 minutes: Woodley 1.21 / Burns 2.39
- Takedown accuracy: Woodley 41% / Burns 38%
- Takedown defense: Woodley 92% / Burns 44%
- Submission average: Woodley 0.5 / Burns 0.7
Burns might not be a known name, but we’ve got to give him some credit. There was a time where he looked like nothing more than a Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist - lethal on the mat but outclassed on the feet. While he’s still not a pretty striker, he’s turned himself into an effective one. Using aggressive pressure, Burns maximizes his natural strength with a rugged striking game that sets up his takedowns. He was able to TKO Demian Maia, something Woodley failed to do.
Woodley is who he is: an all-world athlete with explosive bursts that few men are capable of dealing with. But the 38-year old can also be conservative to a fault - if he is unsure of a situation he simply won’t engage. Fans shouldn’t be surprised if he does little to nothing for 25 minutes. Then again, Woodley can also show himself to be a fantastic pressure fighter, as he did against Till and Lawler.
This is going to be an uphill battle for Burns. The Brazilian relies on takedowns and control, and Woodley is nearly impossible to put on the mat. In a sparring match, Burns might bring more output, but Woodley is the more effective, powerful striker.
UFC Odds Pick: Woodley to win at -172
This could be a snoozer, but Woodley is the more gifted fighter of the two. While T-Wood’s age is cause for concern, he’s a fighter that has always minimized the damage he’s taken. Expect this to be a standup match, with Woodley clearly getting the better of the exchanges with his counter right and stinging leg kick.
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