Gilbert Burns dominates Tyron Woodley in unanimous-decision win

Gilbert Burns (19-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) won his sixth straight fight and cashed +140 underdog tickets in Saturday’s blowout win over Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision (50-44, 50-45, 50-44) in the UFC Apex headliner in Las Vegas.

Burns bagged an extra $50,000 when he garnered his fourth career Performance of the Night bonus. He improved to 12-0 in welterweight fights and 5-0 in five scraps in the UFC’s 170-pound loop.

In the first 20 seconds of the bout, Burns dropped Woodley with a right hook. He pounced on the former welterweight champ with hammer fists and eventually went to the ground with him. ‘Durinho’ quickly moved to mount and landed some elbows, one that opened a big cut over Woodley’s left eye.

‘The Chosen One’ was able to get back to his feet with about two minutes left in the opening frame. But his confidence was shot early and he spent the rest of the fight on his heels with his back near the fence.

Burns remained the aggressor for the duration of the fight. Woodley had no answers and never mounted any sort of sustained offensive attack. At the age of 38, Woodley looked washed up — just as I had suggested in my preview when endorsing a play on Burns (when the odds were at +160).

“I feel great,” Burns told ESPN’s Heidi Androl. “I thought I’d get the finish, but it was a dominant performance. I’m happy. I was so focused and sharp. I thought he melted a little bit after that first round. He came at me a little bit, but I had a lot of fun out there to be honest. I was talking to him. He didn’t hit that hard.”

Burns added, “I want a title shot and I can fight in July. I didn’t get a scratch tonight. If I can’t get the title shot, give me Colby [Covington].”

Usman, who took the belt from Woodley with a blowout win, is teammates with Burns. However, Burns is after his belt, although he was respectful and expressed his love for Usman.

Woodley didn’t sound like he was ready to retire after back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.

He told Androl, “[Round 1] didn’t really diminish my confidence. I thought I was still in the fight, but I just never was able to get my hands going. I’m proud of myself. I didn’t give up. It just wasn’t my night. I was in great condition, great shape. I got hit with a nice elbow that changed the climate of the fight. I’m going to come back because I’m a champion.”

The ‘over’ (4.5 rounds for a +160 payout) was a winner in the main event. Also, the proposition bet for Burns to win by decision hit for a +550 payout.

In the co-main event, Aususto Sakai improved to 5-0 in the UFC with a split-decision win over Blagoy Ivanov (29-28, 27-30, 29-28). The ‘over’ (2.5 rounds) cashed at a -160 price, while Sakai backers won as a short -125 ‘chalk.’

Ivanov fell to 2-3 in five fights in the UFC, losing by split decision for a second straight time. The ‘over’ is a perfect 5-0 in Ivanov’s run with the promotion.

In a 150.5-pound catchweight, Billy Quarantillo rallied past Spike Carlyle for a UD win (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) as a -120 favorite. MajorWager scored the contest 29-28 for Carlyle.

Daniel Rodriguez uses his crisp boxing to defeat a game Gabriel Green, who took the fight on less than a week of notice. Rodriguez won by UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), but it was a very entertaining fight and was closer than the judges’ scores suggested.

In a lightweight scrap, Roosevelt Roberts beat Brok Weaver by second-round submission as a -400 favorite. The prop for Roberts to win by submission (+220) was a winner along with the prop to win in Round 2 (+550).

Mackenzie Dern bounced back from her first career loss to Amanda Ribas by beating Hannah Cifers via submission (kneebar) midway through the opening stanza. Dern improved to 8-1 overall and 3-1 in the UFC, and she also won POTN for an extra $50,000.

A flyweight contest between Tim Elliott and Brandon Royval earned Fight of the Night honors. Making his Octagon debut, Royval defeated the veteran with a second-round submission.

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