The main event of May 30’s UFC Fight Night saw a dominant Gilbert Burns take on Tyron Woodley in an impressive balance of timing and aggression.
The fight started out with Burns rushing forward, though both competitors were cautious and respectful of each other’s power. Then, a brief strike exchange led to Burns charging Woodley with punches and kicks. Woodley fell to the ground, and Burns fell upon him with a rain of punches, securing mount as he worked to inflict more damage on Woodley. Burns worked for a one-arm guillotine from mount, but was unable to get underneath Woodley’s chin. Woodley managed to roll out from beneath Burns, and the two resumed their careful exchanges, a wide cut above Woodley’s eye bloodying his face as the clock ran out.
The second round saw a more aggressive Woodley, but Burns continued to control the center of the cage and took Woodley down with a bit under three minutes remaining in the round. Woodley worked to protect himself using his guard and managed to work himself back to his feet by using the cage for support against Burns’ pressure. The two clinched up as Woodley worked to push Burns against the cage, each fighter dishing out knees to the body as round two finished up.
Round three was the same steady routine we’d seen in the beginning of rounds one and two. Both fighters seemed more reliant on heavy hits and kicks rather than quick combos, with Burns pushing the action and landing a few solid punches and kicks against Woodley. Burns knocked himself to the ground with a flying knee to the body against Woodley, but Woodley refused to engage with his opponent on the ground. Round three ended without the fight having gone to the ground.
The fighters came in harder in round four, and Burns nearly scored a takedown in the first minute, but Woodley managed to defend and remain on his feet, clinching up and forcing Burns’ back to the cage. Burns managed to reverse the position and attacked Woodley with body strikes and knees. The referee moved the fighters back into the center after a lack of action occurred when Woodley again reversed the position to push Burns against the cage. Back in the center, Burns came in aggressively with a burst of strikes that dropped Woodley, who managed to come back up with one of Burns’ legs. Burns managed to get Woodley back up against the cage and then to the ground. Burns worked to take the back, ultimately flattening Woodley out from a seated position. With seconds left in the round, Burns worked for a choke and hooked the leg, but was unable to get the tap before time ran out.
The fifth round opened up with a takedown attempt from Burns that pushed Woodley against the cage. The two clinched up and forced each other against the cage while trying to capitalize on opportunities for body strikes. After a lack of action, the referee once again reset them in the center of the Octagon. Woodley managed to get a solid strike in as Burns again pushed him to the cage. Burns attempted another takedown but was shut down by Woodley. The fighters exchanged a brief flurry of strikes in the final seconds of the fight, and Burns acted triumphantly following the bell.
Burns was declared the winner by unanimous decision.