UFC Fight Night results: Gilbert Burns dominates Tyron Woodley, scores unanimous decision
Gilbert Burns said that there would be a changing of the guard in the welterweight division when he faced former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
After 25 minutes of complete dominance and a resounding unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44, 50-44), Burns was right, and the rest of the 170-pound division has officially been put on notice by "Durinho."
In what was the finest performance of his career to date, Burns owned every aspect of the fight, from striking to the ground game, against arguably the best welterweight champion the division had seen since Georges St-Pierre.
The 33-year-old Burns is now 4-0 as a welterweight and will improve upon his No. 6 UFC welterweight ranking after such a dominant performance against the No. 1-ranked fighter in the division.
Burns, a highly decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, demonstrated his improved striking from the opening bell by detonating a huge right hand that rocked Woodley and sent him to the canvas. The Brazilian chased Woodley to the mat, quickly mounted the former champion and rained down punishment that opened a gash on Woodley's left eyebrow.
Woodley somehow managed to get himself out from under Burns' smothering ground control and escaped the round with his senses intact.
Woodley fared better in the second round until Burns ducked under a right hand and took his opponent to the canvas with a beautiful takedown. Again, Woodley would make it to his feet and get through the round, but it was evident that Burns was the superior fighter and Woodley would need a remarkable comeback to get himself back in the fight.
It wouldn't happen.
Finding himself clearly behind on the scorecard, Woodley pulled back and looked to counter in the third. But Burns continued to put together an excellent display of striking and scored with right hands and leg kicks, the latter limiting Woodley's mobility.
In the fourth round, Burns exploded with a vicious three-punch combination that briefly sent Woodley to a knee and forced him to clinch. Burns again took advantage of his opponent on the mat and nearly cinched in a guillotine right before the end of the frame. A desperate Woodley sought to land a big right hand in the final round but Burns was simply too sharp and unwilling to let Woodley have a moment in the fight.
The 38-year-old Woodley was coming off of a 14-month layoff and a disappointing performance in dropping the title to Kamaru Usman in March 2019. He expected to be sharper in his return from the layoff but found himself again on the wrong side of the scorecards.
It can be suggested that Burns won every single second of the 25-minute affair and certainly thrust himself into title contention with the exceptional performance. Now the owner of a six-fight winning streak, he asked for a shot at Usman's title for his next fight. It may have sounded preposterous 12 months ago, but there is no denying Burns is the fastest-rising star in the division.