UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs Burns Preview & Betting Tips

May 29th 2020, 11:15am, By: Ben Talintyre

The UFC continues this weekend with an event headlined by former Welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, who will be desperate to make a statement as he returns to the Octagon for the first time since he was well beaten against now champion Kamaru Usman. His opponent, the rampaging Brazilian Gilbert Burns, looks to keep building towards a potential title fight. The fact this fight night takes place from the Apex Centre in Nevada throws a spanner in the works as the Apex Octagon is actually 5 feet smaller in diameter than the usual regulation Octagon. That’s just over one and a half metres smaller. While this may not seem a huge deal, it favours the more explosive fighters and wrestlers as it is harder for fighters who try to stay on the outside, such as kickboxers, to avoid the forward pressure and heavy hands from strikers who like to trade in the pocket. Anyway, enough of MMA maths, it is time to look at some of my selections below.

UFC Fight Night Betting Tips

Tyron Woodley vs Gilbert Burns

I really don’t like this fight for a few reasons. Firstly, Leon Edwards gets burnt by not being able to fight Woodley, as the winner of this fight cements themselves ahead of him in line for a title shot, while the loser drops out of contention for the immediate future in what is a stacked division. Secondly Gilbert Burns is about 12-18 months away from being a genuine title challenger in my opinion, but he isn’t there yet. Gilbert Burns hasn’t lost since being KO’d by Dan Hooker in mid-2018 and has gone on a hot streak since but he is up against a revitalised Woodley who before his loss to Usman was considered as possibly the greatest Welterweight of all time. He now has a point to prove and by many accounts is training the house down.

Burns has developed his striking to pair with his slick submission skills, however, it is unlikely that he will be able to get this to the ground and I expect Woodley to press forward and blow Burns out of the water (queue Robbie Lawler title fight against Woodley). Woodley has the wrestling prowess to deter any takedown attempts and has the power to put any opponent to sleep. Burns is 33 and is coming into his own but this is the worst matchup in the division for the Brazilian and it will end up in him looking up at the lights.

Billy Quarantillo vs Spike Carlyle

Billy Qurarantillo made his UFC debut in fine style, dominating Jacob Kilburn before finishing him on the ground with a triangle choke. He meets a stiffer test in his second fight as he faces Spike Carlyle who entered the UFC on a four-fight win streak before extending that streak to five beating Aalon Cruz inside the first two minutes of round 1.

This is one of those fights that I do not see going the distance as I really think Carlyle stops Quarantillo in the first but if he doesn’t the durability and gas tank of Quarantillo will then drag Carlyle into deep waters and in the smaller Octagon with his forward pressure there will likely be a KO one way or another. The chances of this lasting all 15 minutes are slim with two genuine finishers fighting in a smaller than usual Octagon.

Jamahal Hill vs Klidson Abreu

Jamahal Hill who is 7-0 in his MMA career comes into this fight as favourite but really shouldn’t. His opponent Abreu is 1-2 in his UFC career but arguably should have won his last fight by decision. Before entering the UFC, he was tearing through opponents earning five straight submission wins before entering the UFC. His ground game is likely way too much for Hill’s below par wrestling to handle. Hill was taken down in his UFC debut six times but wasn’t made to pay for it but I’m backing it to be a different story here. Abreu has 10 submission wins on his resume including one over current Light Heavyweight contender Johnny Walker and should make Hill pay for his lacklustre grappling skills.


Klidson Abreu to win

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Abreu by submission ($6.50)

Tim Elliott vs Brandon Royval

I’m a big fan of Tim Elliot and there is nothing on tape to show how Royval is anywhere near good enough to beat him. Royval is a decent striker who has nine professional stoppages, all bar one in the first round but the way he was controlled by Casey Kenney for 5 rounds at the end of 2018 doesn’t bode well for him against Elliott who is a top-level grappler and incredibly dangerous on the mat. Royval hasn’t showed anywhere near enough to say he can keep this standing and therefore when he inevitably finds himself on his back, I’m backing Elliott to put him away swiftly.


Tim Elliot to win

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Elliot by submission ($5.00)


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