Gilbert Burns went against odds and defeated the ex-UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, last night. The Brazilian was better after a unanimous decision, and was pretty dominant in this one from the start until the end.
Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) roared into the contest, preventing Woodley (19-5-1 MMA, 9-4-1 UFC) from cathing his rhythm. The recipe he used was the same Kamaru Usman had once he took over the title belt form the Chosen One, early initiative, and constant pressure, which will force his opponent to be on the back foot. In the end, Durinho posted 83 significant strikes, while Woodley had just 28.
“That was a former champion right there — you saw,” Burns said. “And I had a dominant performance.”
— UFC (@ufc) May 31, 2020
The Brazilian would attack the American straight away, sending him to the ground in the first round. It was a massive combination from which Woodley didn’t stand a chance. It would also open a big cut over his left eye which created a lot of trouble for him as the fight progressed.
We would see one more trip to the ground of the ex-champ, in the fourth round, and was demolishing him throughout the entire third and fifth frame. Woodley stated following the fight that he feels disappointed about his performance.
“To be honest, I feel crappy that I lost,” he said. “I didn’t imagine losing to Gilbert Burns. But at the end of the day, I’m really proud of myself because mentally, I knew what I was going through in the Octagon.”
He will now have to do a lot of thinking and soul searching. It is obvious that the 38-year old can’t compete at the highest level anymore, and that he has to make some changes in order to improve his performances. The age and the numerous injuries are his biggest enemy, and right now, him winning back the title is almost impossible.
Woodley will need to win at least two or three fights before becoming a contender, which would be something pretty hard to achieve in this situation. The welterweight division is super-strong right now, and earning a chance to fight for the title, without defeating Covington, Masvidal, Diaz, or at least one of several other big names.
Calling out his TRAINING PARTNER! 🗣
— UFC (@ufc) May 31, 2020
On the other side, Burns’ situation is pretty clear as well as his ambitions.
“I want to fight for the title,” Burns said. “Lot of respect, a lot of love for [Usman]. But I think I’m next. I’m next. I’m right there.”
Many experts are suggesting that he became a legit contender after this win. Even though Woodley isn’t good as before, beating him in this way, and posting six straight wins, among which a first-round KO against Demian Maia is enough for a title fight.
The problem in this equation is Usman and his unclear plans. Jorge Masvidal is his No.1 challenger, but Gamebred isn’t willing to fight him, and instead wants to book a rematch with Nate Diaz for the BMF title belt. Meanwhile, Usman publicly offered a title-fight to Conor McGregor, but the Notorious didn’t reply. Now we hear some possibilities of him taking on Colby again.
All this is creating a lot of confusion, but what is sure is that Burns has to be considered as one of the elite fighters in this division from this moment on.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.