UFC Fight Night returns to Las Vegas for the first time since the sports world shut down. The promotion’s three events earlier this month were a huge hit with fans worldwide. They hope to see that momentum carry over into UFC Fight Night 176 this Saturday.
Saturday, May 30th – 9:00PM ET
UFC APEX Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Network: ESPN, ESPN+
Tyron Woodley (-190) vs Gilbert Burns (+155)
In the main event, former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) will take on the submission ace, Gilbert Burns (18-3-0). It will be Woodley’s first fight back since losing his title to Kamaru Usman in March 2019. Before the loss Usman, Woodley hadn’t seen defeat since June 2014.
Tyron Woodley has an impressive resume that dates back to the Strikeforce days. He holds wins over Darren Till, Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson, Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit, and more.
Woodley receives a lot of criticism for his ultra-conservative fighting style at times. While he can be boring at times, he does not take unnecessary risks in the octagon. Even against a Demian Maia that gave plenty of openings, Woodley refused to engage.
We may not see this against Gilbert Burns, however. While Woodley is a very strong wrestler, Burns is most dangerous on the ground. Woodley’s best play would be to keep the fight standing where he would possess the biggest advantage. It may seem like a long time ago, but Woodley is the same fighter that starched Lawler, Koscheck, and Hieron, among others.
Burns is riding a 5-fight winning streak. In his last two fights, Burns has bested two of the best submission specialists the welterweight division has ever seen in Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson. Burns beat Nelson to a decision in September 2019. It only took 2:34 of the first round for him to put away the Brazilian legend, Demian Maia.
My money’s on Woodley securing the W and slowly climbing his way back up the ladder. Woodley’s going to need some exciting wins before Dana gives him another shot at the belt.
UFC Fight Night: Blagoy Ivanov (-115) vs Augusto Sakai (-115)
Blagoy Ivanov (18-3-0) will step into the octagon against Augusto Sakai (14-1-1). Satai will hold a 4” height and 4” reach advantage over the Bulgarian. It’s an advantage he’s made the most of throughout his career.
Sakai, who is on a four-fight winning streak, has finished 10 of his 14 opponents. He’s 3-0 in the UFC with wins over Chase Sherman, Andrei Arlovski, and Marcin Tybura.
Sakai made his way to the UFC by way of Dana White’s Contender Series where he finished Marcos Conrado in the second round.
Ivanov is a decorated Sambo practitioner from Bulgaria. He holds gold and bronze medals from the World Sambo Championships.
Since joining the UFC, Ivanov is 2-2. His first fight with the promotion resulted in a 5-round decision loss to Junior dos Santos. He bounced back with back-to-back wins over Ben Rothwell and Tai Tuivasa before losing to Derrick Lewis in November 2019.
Ivanov is a tough SOB in and out of the octagon. His sambo skills will be a big advantage over his much taller opponent. He’s fought some seriously good fighters in his career. His only other loss was to former Bellator Heavyweight Champion Alexander Volkov. His experience and skills will be enough to overcome his opponent this Saturday night in Vegas.
Also on the card are Mackenzie Dern (-400) vs. Hannah Cifers, Katlyn Chookagian (+115) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (-145), Louis Smolka (+210) vs. Casey Kenney (-280), and more!