This is the UFC on ESPN 9 live blog for Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns, the welterweight headliner for Saturday’s fight card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Woodley returns to the cage for the first time after losing the welterweight belt to current champ Kamaru Usman in March 2019. Burns makes a quick turnaround after a knockout of Demian Maia at UFC Brasilia in March.
Check out the UFC on ESPN 9 live blog below.
Round 1: Herb Dean is the third man in the cage for this main event. Burns races across the cage to claim the center. After an initial feeling out period, a heavy exchange and Woodley is hurt from a few right hands! Woodley’s butt is on the canvass and Burns jumps on him. Burns is firing right hands looking for the stoppage but Woodley does a good job of surviving. Now Burns has moved into mount and he’s smothering Woodley. Woodley is bleeding heavily from the head. Woodley is trying to power his way up to his feet but can’t do it against the BJJ world champion. Burns is maintaining the mount up against the cage but he’s not landing many big shots. Burns finally does posture up and Woodley immediately stands up. Great escape from the former champion. 90 seconds left in the round and this one is not going as planned for Woodley, as he has a big cut over his left eye. Woodley throws a big head kick that is blocked. Burns has landed a few good low kicks. Body kick and left hook from Burns lands. The round ends without much else. Sensational start for Gilbert Burns.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-8 Burns.
Round 2: The cut over Woodley’s eye is going to be a big problem if this fight goes on. Woodley lands a pair of right hands to start the round though. Burns is pressuring and throwing low kicks, while Woodley is loading up on right hands, headhunting. Woodley is starting to see the attacks from Burns a bit better now, still not a lot of offense from the former champion though. Woodley steps in with a big right hand and Burns ducks under beautifully and scores a clean double-leg takedown! Woodley has full guard against the cage and is looking to stand but Burns is controlling well. Woodley does eventually stand up but he eats a few shots for his troubles. Burns is controlling Woodley in the clinch along the fence that is very unexpected. Woodley reverses position but only briefly. Burns reverses again and then Woodley. The round ends with both men still in clinch position.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Burns (20-17 Burns overall).
Round 3: The cut man has done a good job on the gash over Woodley’s eye but that’s not the issue for Woodley right now. The problem is Gilbert Burns is kicking his ass. Nothing substantive happens for the first minute of round three. Both men are feinting a lot and shots are coming up well short. Burns lands a good right hand that temporarily stuns Woodley but it’s back to a feint off. Body kick from Burns. Right hand from Burns. Woodley is lost in there now. Burns has Woodley backed up against the fence eternally now and he’s picking his spots beautifully. Woodley is clearly just looking for a big KO shot and he’s falling further and further behind. Low kick from Burns has Woodley hobbled! This is the best we’ve ever seen Gilbert Burns look. Left hook from burns lands as does a big body kick. Low kick to left hook combo stops Woodley in his tracks. Nothing much happens before the horn ends the round.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Burns (30-26 overall).
Round 4: Woodley’s corner shot him straight about what’s going on: he’s getting outclassed. Perhaps the former champion will come out with something this round but it’ll have to happen later because Burns immediately gets Woodley’s feet back to the fence and lands a good left hook. Woodley steps in and Burns ducks under beautifully again but this time Woodley still stuffs it and now he drives Burns to the fence. Woodley is not doing anything with this clinch though and Burns reverse position. Woodley reverses position. Not much going on here. Low kick and left hook from Burns lands. Jabs now coming from Burns and Burns is pouring it onto Woodley. Woodley just has nothing for Burns tonight. Burns comes forward with an explosive combination and drops Woodley with a right hand! Woodley shoots a takedown and forces Burns to the fence but Burns reverses position and scores a trip takedown. Burns advances position and Woodley tries to use the fence to stand. He eats some shots and then Burns jumps on a guillotine. It’s a good attempt but Woodley defends well and the horn ends the round.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-8 Burns (40-34 overall).
Round 5: In his corner, Woodley’s corner tells him he needs to go for out and Woodley comes out blasting some big shots. Burns shoots a takedown though and forces Woodley against the fence. Burns being able to match Woodley’s physicality is stunning. Not a lot going on in the clinch here. Burns goes for a trip takedown but can’t get it and Woodley reverses. When Woodley has the position though, he’s just holding. There’s just no offense from the former champion and Herb Dean separates the two men. Action restarts and Burns is right back in Woodley’s face, landing shots and bringing the fight. Woodley lands a good left hand but he may not have the juice on his shots anymore. Burns has landed more significant strikes and Woodley has thrown. This is a shellacking. Woodley steps in with a big left hook and Burns ducks under again. He’s clearly drilled that move and it’s paying off. Woodley reverses the position and breaks away. Woodley is trying to land a big counter shot but just can’t find it. Woodley throws a few Hail Mary right hands but Burns evades and this fight is over, as is Tyron Woodley’s hope of ever reclaiming a UFC title.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Burns, 50-44 Burns overall.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Gilbert Burns defeats Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44).