Woodley Ready To Test Burns In Five-Round Affair
On his quest to reclaim the UFC Welterweight Championship, Tyron Woodley is willing to do whatever it takes. That includes tiring out Gilbert Burns, who is not used to the bright spotlight.
Woodley (19-4-1) is set to face off against Burns (18-3) on Saturday, May 30 at UFC on ESPN 9. “The Chosen One” defended the Welterweight Title four times; winning three and drawing once against Stephen Thompson. From his run as the champion to when he lost the title to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March 2019, Woodley has competed in four five-round fights. He has five fights going past round three, one of them being in 2012 against Nate Marquardt for the Strikeforce Welterweight Title.
Burns has never competed in a bout that lasted more than three rounds. Woodley is looking to take advantage of that.
“This fight in particular with Gilbert Burns is, I’m confident because of who I am and what I’m doing,” Woodley stated to MMA Junkie. “I’m aware of what he does, I’m aware of how he is – he’s got a nice little left hook, uppercut, got some knees and flying knees, kicks and punches and calf kicks. I haven’t really seen much different from him. I’ve seen his style, and I’ve kind of gotten it broken down, but the element of surprise is a mother(expletive).
“I had the option to fight this fight in a three-round fight, and I wanted a five-round fight because he ain’t never fought five rounds before, not in the UFC, not to my knowledge.”
Burns is coming off of a TKO-win over Demian Maia back in March at UFC Brasilia. It was his fifth win in a row, and he is 7-1 in his last eight fights. Ranked sixth in the UFC’s welterweight rankings, Burns is excited about this new venture.
Woodley, however, doesn’t see this as a walk in the park. A two-time All-American for the NCAA and a Big 12 Conference Champion, Woodley’s wrestling ability can psyche anybody out. He sees Burns having a disadvantage because of his inexperience. That is when he will strike.
“So three rounds, starting off strong or loafing in the beginning to finish strong is not going to work, is not going to work in a five-round fight,” Woodley went on to say. “That’s what my goal is: Just take him in that deep water and just trying to drown him.”
UFC on ESPN 9 is scheduled to take place inside the UFC’s APEX Center in Nevada. This all depends on an upcoming ruling by the Nevada Athletic Commission.