Burns Wants To Hand Woodley ‘Disastrous’ Loss At UFC Vegas
Gilbert Burns has everything to gain on Saturday night when he headlines UFC Vegas in a battle with former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. Burns has quietly amassed an impressive five fight win streak in the last 18 months. His contender status was cemented by a ‘performance of the night’ knockout of Demian Maia in his most recent outing at UFC Brasilia.
Woodley was originally scheduled to fight Leon Edwards at UFC London but firstly the coronavirus saw the fight get cancelled and then eventually the whole card. Before the card was cancelled, Burns offered to step in the face ‘The Chosen One’. But although the fight didn’t happen back then in March, the Brazilian now gets to step inside the Octagon with the former champion.
It didn’t take long for sharps to pounce on Woodley when he opened as a tepid -145 against Burns. The former welterweight champion has been bet down to nearly -200 on this list of sportsbooks and he represents a difficult matchup for Burns.
Burns’ big edge will be in submission grappling, but Tyron’s takedown defence is an impeccable 92%. While Burns could win a standup bout, the current odds are a more accurate reflection of his chances in that department. The more-athletic, stronger Woodley is the favourite to grind out the decision win.
Speaking to MMA Fighting however, Burns explained that he has all the right skills to defeat Woodley and believes that the former champion was desperate to avoid this match-up.
‘I believe I’m a bad matchup…’
“I believe I’m a bad matchup for Tyron Woodley. I think I have power in my hands, same as he does. I believe I can stand up. I can defend his takedowns, and even if he does take me down, it’s not going to be easy. But if he does take me down, he’s in my world.
“A lot of you haven’t seen much but you saw some with Demian [Maia], the guy that puts everybody on the floor and takes the back or puts everybody on the floor and takes control, he did that on me and I was just out quick. I have my jiu-jitsu, and I’m very comfortable with my jiu-jitsu.
“I believe I’m a bad matchup. That’s why since the beginning, he didn’t want this fight. I’m ready for the best Tyron, but I truly believe in every single weapon I have, and I believe I’m going to have a great performance.”
Woodley Had No Choice
Woodley attracted interest from Israel Adesanya, Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal on Twitter since his cancellation with Edwards. However, Burns explains that his opponent only ever had two options.
“Those fights don’t make sense. I think the only guys available were me and RDA. He’s got no choice. If he wants to fight, that’s me. That’s the guy available.”
Burns knows that a win against Woodley would be disastrous for the former champion’s career.
A Disastrous Loss?
“It’s going to be hard for him to get another fight for the title. I’m very confident. My last fight was in March. His last fight was in March 2019, and he got his ass whooped. I fought in March and I won. I’m younger. I’m hungry. I’m fighting the best in the world. I train with the best in the world. I’m very confident right now.”
Tyron Woodley revealed to ESPN (transcribed by BJPenn.com) that it has been hard to stay focused while training for a lesser known opponent. ‘The Chosen One’ also took issue to a recent comparison of their records.
“If it’s a Conor fight or a Nate Diaz fight or something like that, now it’s a person who has more name recognition than myself, now that motivates me to try and capture some of those fans, that becomes a great motivating factor. In this situation it’s really just the performance itself. When you look at Gilbert Burns, his manager put something out saying fun fact, Gilbert is 9-3 and Tyron is 8-3, don’t ever compare his record to mine. I’m 9-3 against world class fighters, I never lost to somebody that wasn’t a world champion or wasn’t a world title challenger.”
Burns Envisions A Finish
With this in mind, Burns has visualized a clean finish over his opponent on Saturday night.
“I’m going to finish him. I don’t know if it’s going to be knockout or a submission, but I see a finish. It was good to grapple with Jake Shields and Demian, to train with Usman, to get feedback from these guys for Woodley.
“I can’t wait to fight this guy. I believe I’ll be able to finish Tyron Woodley.”
Do you think that Gilbert Burns can ruin Tyron Woodley’s title hopes at UFC Vegas?