UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns preview

With the COVID-19 pandemic still making its mark on the world, we will get some more live sports on Saturday for entertaining MMA action. UFC Fight Night will return May 30, and so will former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, as it has been over a year since he has competed inside the Octagon. We’ll go over the main card of Saturday’s event, as well as give predictions from both myself and Cameron Richardson on who the victors will be inside the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. 

Mackenzie Dern vs. Hannah Cifers

The opening contest will consist of two strong contenders in the women’s strawweight division that are looking to build some momentum. Dern is coming off of suffering her first career loss to Amanda Ribas back in October of last year. However, her ground game really stands out in this matchup and could be the x-factor in this fight. If she can keep her distance from the dangerous knockout power of Cifers, she could very well take this fight to the ground and get a submission victory. 

Predictions

David: Dern def. Cifers

Cameron: Dern def. Cifers

Roosevelt Roberts vs. Brok Weaver

This next bout is a classic example of a TV fight card for the UFC. Two competitors looking to prove themselves when the spotlight is on them, and prove who will rise to the occasion and shine the brightest. Weaver has a 15-4 professional record, with most wins coming via decision. Roberts, on the other hand, seems a more well-rounded fighter that is able to finish a fight with a knockout, submission or decision. Roberts should have no problem getting the win in this fight. 

Predictions:

David: Roberts def. Weaver

Cameron: Roberts def. Weaver

Billy Quarantillo vs. Spike Carlyle

Although the “Alpha Ginger” had to get Quarantillo to agree to a catchweight stipulation to make the fight possible, these two will do battle on Saturday night. They are both relatively new to the UFC, so this one could be a toss up when it comes to deciding a winner. Both have great striking and ground game ability, and they both have the stamina to win a fight from the judges’ scorecard. 

Predictions:

David: Carlyle def. Quarantillo 

Cameron: Quarantillo def. Carlyle

Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai

This fight is going to go either two ways. Sakai is going to finish it in a knockout or Ivanov is going to evade the heavy punches and use his superior ground game to get the victory. Whenever a heavyweight fight is on a card, the question becomes how long will this one last. We saw it at UFC 249 when Francis Ngannou destroyed Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. Sakai’s knockout power looks strong. If he can avoid getting trapped by Ivanov’s grappling, he could walk out of the octagon as the winner. 

Predictions:

David: Sakai def. Ivanov

Cameron: Ivanov def. Sakai

Main Event: Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns

After more than an entire year away from the UFC, former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will make his return to the Octagon and look to start the journey back to the top of the 170-pound division. The story of this fight will be how Woodley’s time away from the UFC affects his performance. With Gilbert Burns fighting as recently as March of this year, he will come into the fight as the more active fighter. Woodley’s time off could have been just the thing he needed, after being the standard barrier of the welterweight division for over two years. This fight could very well prove what lies ahead for “the chosen one.” 

Predictions:

David: Woodley def. Burns

Cameron: Woodley def. Burns

Saturday’s card begins at 6:00 p.m. EST with the prelims. The main card begins at 9:00 p.m. EST. The entire card will air on ESPN.

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