UFC Fight Night Woodley vs Burns: Preview
The UFC continues to lead the return of Sport with their latest Fight Night card, containing a main event featuring former champion Tyron Woodley facing off against BJJ elite Gilbert Burns. The card also contains Blagoy Ivanov vs Augusto Sakai, Kevin Holland vs Daniel Rodriguez and Katlyn Chookagian vs Antonina Shevchenko. In this article we will break down the fights featured on the main card for the last UFC event of May.
Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley vs Gilbert “Durinho” Burns
Burns vs Woodley is an extremely intriguing matchup between two of the welterweights most talented fighters. Woodley is a two time All American wrestler, who won the UFC welterweight belt in 2016 after defeating Robbie Lawler. Woodley defended his belt against some of the divisions elite, defeating Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia and Darren Till. However Woodley was defeated by current champion Kamaru Usman in 2019 and has not fought since.
Alternatively Gilbert Burns has already fought in 2020, with a brutal KO over Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 170 in Brazil. Burns also fought 3 times in 2019, picking up wins over Mike Davis, Alexey Kunchenko and Gunnar Nelson, cementing his place in the welterweight division.
Woodley’s aggressive wrestling and clinch work could certainly cause Burns problems. However Burns is a three time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion, with an arsenal of submissions from both top and bottom positions. Woodley also has a brutal overhand right that has finished some of the best the division has to offer, including former champion “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. Burns is no slouch when it comes to the stand up game either, with KO victories over Jason Saggo, Dan Moret and Demian Maia.
Blagoy “Baga” Ivanov vs Augusto Sakai
The 12th and 13th ranked heavyweights face off on the co-main event of the evening.
Ivanov (12th) is a former Bellator fighter who once went on a 6 fight win streak for the organisation. He is currently 2-2 in the UFC, with wins over both Tai Tuivasa and Ben Rothwell, and losses to JDS and Derrick Lewis. His last fight, against Lewis, was a highly controversial decision loss, which many had Ivanov winning. “Baga” is a practitioner of the Russian martial art of Sambo, and in 2008 became the Combat Sambo World Champion. He has also competed in Judo at a national level for his home country of Bulgaria.
Augusto Sakai is currently 14-1, with a 3-0 record inside the UFC. Sakai defeated UFC fighters Chase Sherman and Marcin Tybura with KO and TKO finishes respectively, whilst also picking up the decision win against former champion Andrei Arlovski. The Japanese-Brazilian is also an ex Bellator fighter who amassed a 4-1-1 record for the promotion. Sakai has a martial arts base in muay thai in which he has been training in since he was 14.
Kevin “Trailblazer” Holland vs Daniel “D-Rod” Rodriguez
After picking up a 40 second KO over Anthony Hernandez on UFC ESPN 8, Kevin Holland returns to the octagon only 14 days later. He faces off against a very talented fighter in Daniel Rodriguez, who made his UFC debut in February 2020.
Kevin Holland is currently 17-5, with a 4-2 record inside the UFC. He has victories against John Phillips, Gerald Meerschaert, Alessio De Chirico and the afore mentioned Anthony Hernandez. Whilst current Light Heavyweight contender Thiago Santos and rising Middleweight prospect Brendan Allen have both managed to get the best of the “Trailblazer.” Holland employs a traditional kung-fu/karate style of martial arts, with a wide stance similar to that of “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Holland’s opponent Daniel Rodriguez is a product of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, training under Eddie Bravo. He made his UFC debut against the experienced Tim Means in a fight in which he was the +270 underdog. Rodriguez would produce the shock win, submitting Means in the second with a guillotine choke. “D-Rod” has fast counter boxing, as well as the elite submissions that are typical of 10th Planet fighters.
Roosevelt “The Predator” Roberts vs Brok “Chata Tuska” Weaver
Two lightweight prospects face off in an intriguing matchup that could kick start the career of either fighter. Roosevelt Roberts currently sits on a record of 9-1, with a 3-1 record in the UFC. Roberts also has wins in both Bellator and Dana White’s Contender Show.
Brok Weaver is coming off his UFC debut, in which his opponent Kazula Vargas was disqualified for an illegal knee strike. However “Chata Tuska” is currently on an 8 fight win streak, including a victory over Devin Smyth, the godson of former UFC Champion Rashad Evans
Mackenzie Dern vs Hannah “Shockwave” Cifers
A Strawweight clash between two fighters both attempting to reassert themselves into the division.
Mackenzie Dern had an undefeated record of 7-0 coming into her 8th fight at UFC Fight Night 161 against Amanda Ribas. Ribas bested Dern via unanimous decision, granting the American the first loss in her career. However Dern does have an impressive resume, with two wins in the UFC to her name, as well as a victory in Invicta FC.
Hannah Cifers also has two UFC wins on her record, having defeated Polyana Viana and Jodie Esquibel both by decision. “Shockwave” holds a 10-4 record, which has seen her pick up wins in both Titan FC and the NLFC. However she is currently coming off a loss to Angela Hill, and will try to rectify this against Dern on May 30th.
Katlyn “Blonde Fighter” Chookagian vs Antonina “Pantera” Shevchenko
Billy Quarantillo vs Spike “Alpha Ginger” Carlyle
Klidson “White Bear” Abreu vs Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill
Tim Elliot vs Brandon “Raw Dawg” Royval
Casey Kenny vs Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka
Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez vs Vince “Vandetta” Morales
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