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Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns Betting Preview With Odds, Prediction, and Best Bets

| May 25, 2020 2:47 am PDT
Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley makes his return to the Octagon this coming May 30 against the dangerous Gilbert Burns.

Both men meet on the headline bout at UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns, if that wasn’t obvious enough, but what will be more of a guessing game for fans is how “The Chosen One” looks after a lengthy break from the promotion.

The leading UFC betting sites make Woodley the favorite over Burns, but just about. The 38-year-old hasn’t fought since being dethroned by Kamaru Usman in March 2019, while Burns is riding a five-fight winning streak into the fight. His last appearance culminated in a first-round knockout of compatriot Demian Maia in front of a home crowd in Brazil.

UFC President Dana White has confirmed that the fight will be held at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas. Woodley has no experience fighting without fans, unlike Gilbert, who competed in what was the first event the promotion staged behind closed doors.

Will this affect the fight? If so, will exterior factors affect your Woodley vs. Gilbert bets? 

Before you put your money down, why not grab yourself a drink and allow me to walk you through my Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns prediction? I’m going to cover the latest Woodley vs. Burns odds, the best bets to place on the fight, and a little breakdown of how I see things going.

Before I do that, I’m going to give my pick.

Woodley vs. Burns – Who Wins?

  • Tyrone Woodley by KO/TKO

In all honesty, Woodley vs. Burns is a great, great matchup and could go either way.

But I have to give the edge to Woodley on account of a few factors. One being his pedigree, another is the fact that he is one fight removed from being a UFC welterweight champion with five defenses under his belt, and finally, the third factor is the level of competition he has faced over the years.

That’s the short answer. In reality, there is a lot more at play here than meets the eye. So, for a more comprehensive Woodley vs. Burns prediction, keep reading. 

Before we get to that, I want to look at the Woodley vs. Burns odds and cover the best bets you can place on the main event. 

Latest Woodley vs. Burns Odds

Tyrone Woodley to Win-178
Gilbert Burns to Win+153

I’ve taken the odds above from BetOnline — one of our recommended UFC betting sites.

Woodley’s odds to beat Burns are currently -178, and I expect those odds to shorten over the next week or so. Woodley’s return is big news to MMA betting fans, and given his big reputation, he will command the lion’s share of bets.

But Burns is no joke. At odds of +153, which look likely to expand before fight night, the 33-year-old is an appealing prospect for some. Although not as well-known as Woodley with casual to the middle-of-the-road fans, MMA aficionados know how dangerous he can be.

I see Woodley’s odds as pretty much where I expected them to be before this fight was announced. You have to go back to March 2017’s bout against Stephen Thompson for the last time “The Chosen One” was an underdog. That fight ended as a majority win for the former champion.

Burns has enjoyed the tag as bookies’ favorite in the majority of his fights in the UFC. Until this fight, only Aleksei Kunchenko and Dan Hooker (at lightweight) have opened as the favorites in a fight with Burns under the UFC banner.

The odds can only tell us so much about where to put our money on this bout. So, if you’re looking for some recommended Woodley vs. Burns bets, why not try these on for size?

Best Woodley vs. Burns Bets

I’ve put together four bets for you to look at before you get your money down on this fight. 

Three of the four wagers are based on backing Woodley to win. But I have also included a bet for Burns, as well as a brief explanation why this particular wager could be something to consider.

At the time of writing, the Woodley vs. Burns prop bets and specials odds have not been released. So, I can’t give you the odds on two of the bets below. Keep your eyes out for these odds as we approach fight night. 

Anyway, here are the bets.

Woodley to Win

Woodley is currently -178 to beat Burns. 

And while I think Burns has been an absolute monster in the past five fights, he is taking a big step up in class against the former champion. If anything, this will be the most important fight of Burns’ career, but it could be a puzzle too difficult to work out.

Woodley would not have accepted this fight if he wasn’t confident of the win. Sure, he was completely dominated by Kamaru Usman in March last year, but you could say that for the vast majority of the incumbent champion’s opponents.

Woodley to Win by KO/TKO

Although Woodley has some majorly impressive stoppages on his record, the last time he ended a fight with strikes was the same night he won the title against Robbie Lawler.

And isn’t it crazy just how quickly time passes? That fight, at UFC 201, was almost four years ago. But at the same time, Woodley’s gameplan since then was built around defending his strap. You might even call his approach to his title defenses extremely cautious.

Now, given he is campaigning for a rematch with Kamaru Usman, he will probably let his fists fly a little. And let me tell you one thing — if he connects with any of his bombs, Burns is in deep trouble. 

Woodley to Win in Round 3

Although Woodley has gone the distance in championship rounds on four occasions, I’m not convinced this one will go the full five.

There is a sentiment in martial arts that says if you go for the knockout, you will not win by decision. And as crazy as it sounds, I think Woodley will be pushing to make his return to the Octagon a special one.

Yes, a loss would pretty much end his chances of getting a rematch with Usman. But with UFC politics about as predictable as the lottery numbers, a boring, scratchy win could see him pushed to the sideline in favor of Usman vs. Masvidal, or a rematch with Covington.

Woodley has been inactive for 14 months, so it will be interesting to see how he approaches this one. But in my mind, I can see him taking the fight to Burns from the get-go and finishing the job inside the distance.

Burns to Win

Burns’ odds to beat Woodley are currently set at +153. You can’t deny that they deserve to be looked at.

At 33, he enjoys a five-year age advantage over Woodley. He has also fought four times since the former champion’s last Octagon appearance. Will these things work in his favor against the Missouri native?

Burns has some incredible jiu-jitsu and can also pack a punch. But one thing he does not have is the experience of going deep in five-round fights. This could persuade him to do one of two things — back his gas tank, which has not shown any cause for concern yet, or go for the finish if Woodley eats into his cardio. 

And how about the pressure? This will be his first fight against a world champion. His first fight on the headline slot of an event. And the first fight he will compete in that is scheduled for five rounds.

Are these odds good enough for you to back him? Or will the pressure on Burns put you off?

Why Woodley Beats Burns

If this was a straight-up rap battle, I would worry for Tyron Woodley. A lot. But luckily for the 38-year-old, he is better at throwing shots in the cage than hitting the bars. 

MMA fans can be a fickle bunch, and Woodley’s standing among a certain portion of the fanbase is the perfect example of that. Usman beat him, and suddenly he is over the hill, or straight trash.

That loss alone is enough to write off arguably the best welterweight we have had in the promotion that is not named Georges St-Pierre or Matt Hughes. You might not agree with that, but Woodley’s reign says differently.

So when Woodley takes to the cage against Gilbert Burns, all eyes will be on the former champion. At 38, he’s not getting much younger, sure, but until he was dethroned by Usman, he was the man. 

Burns should be confident ahead of this fight, given that he is on a five-fight winning streak. But a TKO over a 42-year-old Demian Maia, a submission win over Mike Davis — as well as three decisions over Olivier Aubin-Mercier, Alexey Kunchenko, and Gunnar Nelson — hardly make for a world-class resume, as impressive as it is.

If Woodley underestimates Burns, he could suffer. But when have we ever seen Woodley enter a fight without a cast-iron gameplan, or without having done his homework? If I can see the dangers Burns poses, you can bet your right eye that Woodley knows everything there is to know about the Brazilian.

Where the Fight Will Be Won

It will be won by the superior fighter, Woodley, on the basis of executing the right gameplan in the most efficient way possible.

Although he got it wrong against Usman, Woodley has shown us time and time again that his ability to follow a gameplan is sublime. He dismantled an unbeaten Darren Till, completely nullified the potency of Stephen Thompson’s striking, shut down Demian Maia’s ground game… seriously, he is a badass when it comes to getting the basics right.

More than this, he is a very patient and well-rounded fighter that has a multitude of tools to call upon when the scenario demands. 

That’s not to say that this will be an easy fight for Woodley, because it most definitely will not. But one thing we can rely on when it comes to the American is that he has not been matched against anyone that you would call an easy opponent in the UFC. 

Burns, on the other hand, does not have the wins over legit contenders that Woodley does. He got slept by Dan Hooker in July 2018, too. And even though you can argue that was due to a grueling weight cut, it was his decision to go that route.

I’m not convinced that Burns can deal with Woodley’s power, nor do I think his striking defense and movement on the feet is capable of preventing him from using that superior reach and finding the Brazilian’s chin.

This will be the difference in a very close fight, in my opinion. I expect Woodley to get the job done in Round 3.

My Closing Thoughts on Woodley vs. Burns

Woodley vs. Burns will be a good fight as long as it lasts.

I’ll keep it simple here — form is temporary, but class is permanent. And while both guys are certainly classy operators, Woodley has proven himself to be a step above.

All will be revealed on fight night, of course.

With that in mind, make sure to bookmark our UFC betting blog to get all the latest odds, news, predictions, and best bets for UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns. I’ll be hitting you with more material over the next week, so don’t miss out!

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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