Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
The UFC took last week off but returns with a terrific Fight Night card from Las Vegas on Saturday night – the first in the home of the organization since the coronavirus pandemic; the past three were all held in Jacksonville, Florida – that is headlined by a matchup between former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns.
This card will be held at the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas, but organization president Dana White had Arizona as an alternate option just in case the Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t approve the card because of the coronavirus pandemic (it did but with stricter testing). The first three cards since the pandemic were held in Florida because Nevada wouldn’t approve them but the Sunshine State’s commission did.
The 38-year-old Woodley (19-4-1) won the welterweight belt at UFC 201 via first-round knockout of Robbie Lawler in July 2016. Woodley then defended it four times, one of those ending in a majority draw against Stephen Thompson. “The Chosen One” lost the belt to current champion Kamaru Usman by unanimous decision at UFC 235 in March 2019.
Woodley, ranked No. 1 in the division, was set for a rematch with Lawler last June but had to pull out due to injury and that’s why Woodley hasn’t been in the Octagon since. He is a -185 favorite for Saturday and has never lost back-to-back professional bouts.
Burns (18-3), 33, is from Brazil and ranked No. 6 in the division. “Durinho” last lost at UFC 226 via first-round knockout to Dan Hooker. Burns has since won five straight, last in the Octagon in March and beating Demian Maia by first-round TKO. No question that Woodley is the most heralded fighter that Burns has faced in his career. He is a +150 underdog.
At heavyweight, 12th-ranked Blagoy Ivanov (18-3) takes on No. 13 Augusto Sakai (14-1-1). The 33-year-old Ivanov is from Bulgaria and had a two-fight winning streak end in November 2019 with a split decision loss to Derrick Lewis. The Brazilian Sakai, 29, hasn’t fought since September 2019 when he beat Marcin Tybura just 59 seconds into their bout by knockout. Sakai has won five straight fights, three in the UFC. He has never won a bout by submission. Ivanov is -120 with Sakai at -110 for Saturday.