UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns Betting Odds, Analysis & Predictions
May 29, 2020
By Brian Edwards
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UFC on ESPN 9: Woodley vs. Burns
Betting Odds & Best Bets
Date: Saturday, May 30, 2020
Venue: UFC APEX
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
TV/Time: ESPN, ESPN+, 6:00 p.m. ET
UFC Fight Night Trends | UFC Expert Picks
UFC Fight Night Betting Odds
Tyron Woodley -189 Gilbert Burns +150
Blagoy Ivanov -110 Augusto Sakai -110
Daniel Rodriguez -290 Gabriel Green +230
Spike Carlyle +110 Billy Quarantillo -137
Roosevelt Roberts -333 Brok Weaver +250
Mackenzie Dern -455 Hannah Cifers +320
Kaitlyn Chookagian +110 Antonina Shevchenko -137
Jamahal Hill -125 Klidson Abreu +100
Brandon Royval +150 Tim Elliott -189
Louis Smolka +210 Casey Kenney -278
Vince Morales -110 Chris Gutierrez -110
UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns Main Card
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Las Vegas on Saturday for UFC on ESPN 9, an 11-fight card that’ll be held on the UFC’s campus at the Apex Facility, the same venue the promotion uses for The Ultimate Fighter and Dana White’s Tuesday’s Night Contender Series.
Tyronn Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns
ESPN will have full coverage of the show starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
In the main event, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (19-4-1 MMA, 9-3-1 UFC) will return to the Octagon for the first time since he lost his belt by blowout unanimous decision to Kamaru Usman. Woodley has been off for nearly 15 months since getting dominated by Usman at UFC 235 on March 2 of 2019.
The 38-year-old Woodley will take on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Gilbert Burns. As of Friday afternoon, FanDuel had Woodley installed as a -184 favorite, with Burns as a +156 underdog. The total was 4.5 rounds (‘under’ -170, ‘over’ +138).
For bettors who are bullish on Woodley, they can avoid the expensive straight price and back him to win by KO/TKO for a +195 return. Woodley can also be had to win by submission (15/1 or +1500) or decision (+220).
Woodley has fought only twice since July 29 of 2017. He won the 170-pound strap by knocking at Robbie Lawler in only 132 seconds in the UFC 201 headliner at Philips Arena in Atlanta. ‘The Chosen One’ retained his belt in a majority draw vs. Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson at UFC 205.
The rematch was a majority-decision win for Woodley at UFC 209. He defended his belt again with a UD victory over Demian Maia in one of the most boring title fights in the promotion’s history. Woodley then missed more than 13 months before submitting Darren Till with a D’Arce choke at UFC 228.
The 33-year-old Burns (18-3 MMA, 11-3 UFC) is on a five-fight winning streak after scoring a first-round knockout win over Maia at UFC Brasilia on March 14. Burns has gone 3-0 since returning to welterweight after a 10-fight stretch in the 155-pound loop.
The Brazilian is 11-0 in his career in welterweight fights and 4-0 in fights at 170 pounds in the UFC. Regardless of the weight class, Burns is 7-1 in last eight Octagon appearances since Sept. 16 of 2017. The only loss in that stretch came to fifth-ranked lightweight Dan Hooker.
Woodley will own a three-inch reach advantage, but Burns has a one-inch edge in height. Woodley owns seven wins by KO, seven by decision and five by submission. He’s only been finished once by Nate Marquardt via KO nearly eight years ago.
Burns has eight wins by submission, six by KO and four via decision. He’s only been finished once in a KO loss to Hooker. This is the first time Burns has been scheduled for a five-round bout.
Both fighters made weight Friday morning by tipping the scales at 170.5 pounds.
UFC Fight Night Predictions
Woodley’s age and lack of activity must concern his backers. On the flip side, this is a big step up in class for Burns, who hasn’t faced the top-tier welterweights that Woodley has been going up against for the last decade. Woodley has said all the right things and appears to be more focused than he was going into his bout with Usman. At that time, Woodley was making rap videos, participating in movies and wasn’t focused on MMA the way he needed to be to stay at the top. All the momentum is with Burns, who I like for two units as a +156 underdog.
Men's Heavyweight Bout
In the co-main event, 12th-ranked Blagoy Ivanov and 13th-ranked Augusto Sakai will throw down in a heavyweight contest. As of Friday afternoon, FanDuel had Sakai listed as a -112 favorite vs. Ivanov (-104). The total was 2.5 rounds (‘over’ -182, ‘under’ +148).
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai
The 33-year-old Ivanov (18-3-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is the former World Series of Fight heavyweight champ who successfully defended that strap four times before signing with the UFC. He has demonstrated an outstanding chin in his four-fight UFC run, with all four of those scraps going the distance.
In his promotional debut, Ivanov went the five-round distance in a UD loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in the UFC Boise headliner. He responded with back-to-back decision wins over Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa, although VegasInsider had his second UFC appearance scored in favor of Rothwell.
Ivanov is off a split-decision loss to Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis at UFC 244 this past November. He owns other notable scalps over former UFC veterans Shawn Jordan and Lavar Johnson.
Sakai (14-1-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) took his only career loss in Bellator against former UFC veteran Cheick Kongo via split decision in 2017. He owns 11 of his 14 career wins by KO, including three of those in his four-fight UFC run.
Sakai is off a 59-second KO win over Marcin Tybura. He beat Andrei Arlovski by split decision in a controversial judging decision in April of 2019. Sakai also has a third-round KO win over Chase Sherman to his credit.
UFC Fight Night Predictions
Although all four of Ivanov’s UFC fights have gone the distance, I can’t turn down plus money in a heavyweight scrap that has a total of 2.5 rounds. Let’s go with one unit on ‘under’ 2.5 for the +148 payout.
UFC Fight Night Bonus Predictions
-- Let’s go with one unit on Spike Carlyle as a +118 underdog (FanDuel) in a 150.5-pound catchweight contest vs. Billy Quarantillo.
-- Look for additional picks in Brian’s UFC on ESPN 9 pick pack.
B.E.’s Octagon Nuggets
-- Dana White shot down speculation that Conor McGregor might fight Usman next for the welterweight belt. White says Usman’s second title defense will be against Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal or Leon Edwards.
-- Speaking of Covington, he’s no longer with American Top Team in South Florida. He told multiple media members this week that he’s still on good terms with ATT co-owner Dan Lambert. Covington pointed blame at Masvidal and Dustin Poirier for his “mutual exit” from ATT.
-- Petr Yan and Jose Aldo will fight for the vacated bantamweight title at a to-be-determined date and venue. FanDuel has Yan installed as a -260 ‘chalk’ vs. Aldo (+210).
-- Robert Whittaker and Darren Till will fight in the main event of the July 25 show on Fight Island. FanDuel has Whittaker listed as a -120 favorite vs. Till (+102).
Bouts and Odds Subject to Change - T&C's Apply, 21+, Legal US States Only