Gilbert Burns impressed tonight as he got the better of Tyron Woodley on the feet and on the mat tonight at UFC On ESPN 8 to earn a unanimous decision victory.
The main event of the evening is underway in Las Vegas.
Woodley throwing warning shots to start. Leg kick from Burns. Burns throwing heavy leather and he’s got Woodley hurt early with a right hand and uppercuts.
Woodley goes to the mat and now he has a BJJ expert on top of him looking for a finish. Burns with punches and Woodley thinks about turning his back and then things better of it. Burns in full mount here. Woodley bleeding from a cut.
One-arm guillotine briefly teased by Burns, but then just continues to stay heavy in full mount. However, as Burns looks to potentially set up a submission attempt, Woodley manages to power up to his feet. That’s huge for him.
Burns taking the center of the Octagon and looking to lead the dance here. The cut above Woodley’s left eye is bad. Hard head kick from Woodley is blocked. He lands a punch to the body.
leg kick from Burns. Body kick now from Burns and a left hook.
Nice stepping right hook from Woodley. Now a fast three-piece combo from the former champion. Now a right hand. He looks better early in this second round.
Burns with a kick. Now one to the leg. Right hand counter from Woodley. Jab from Burns. Head kick attempt from Burns is blocked.
Burns again stepping into the jab. Woodley back to waiting on Burns after that fast start to the second round.
leg kick from Burns. Woodley looking for a body punch, but Burns surges into a very nicely executed takedown.
Woodley getting his back up against the cage as he looks to stand. Burns landing a knee to the body. Short right hands from Burns as Woodley does get upright. Burns staying tight to him though. Knees to the body from Burns.
Burns looking for a couple of hooks, but Woodley reverses him . Burns working knees and taking control again. however, Woodley manages to reverse him into the cage again and that’s how the round ends.
Left hand gets through for Burns. Again Burns lands the left. Fast straight right from Woodley. Left hand and then a right hook from Woodley.
Burns still pressuring and lands a one-two. Kick from Burns stifles an attack from Woodley. Body kick from Burns. Big overhand right from Burns.
Burns lands a punch to the body. Now a leg kick. Upstairs he goes with a left hand. Burns tries a kick upstairs and slips, but Woodley doesn’t choose to engage him on the mat and he stands.
Right hand from Burns. Right hand counter from Woodley. Leg kick from Burns. Now a side kick attempt.
Body kick from Burns. Another one lands for him. Woodley still opting to stick on the outside and lacking volume compared to Burns active work rate as the round heads to a conclusion.
Left hook for Burns. Burns in on a takedown attempt, but Woodley stuffs it and walks him over to the cage.
A few knees being exchanged to the legs and body from this position. Burns reverses him into the cage. Just a strong all-round performance from Burns tonight, wherever the fight has gone.
Woodley turns him again as Burns lands punches to the body. Not much happening from Woodley and the ref opts to break them apart.
leg kick from Burns. Jabs from him now as Woodley is backed up against the cage. Now he lands to the body. Burns still fresh here as he continues to be the aggressor.
Burns bursts forward and lands a big punch then more blows land behind it and Woodley briefly drops to the mat, then gets straight back up.
Burns into the clinch against the cage as Woodley tries to clear the cobwebs. Burns lands a takedown. He pops Woodley with a punch.
Burns now settling into half guard in the final minute of the round. Burns seizes on a guillotine choke and it’s in tight as he also locks down one of Woodley’s legs and cranks on this, but the horn sounds before he can force a tapout.
The message inbetween rounds was clear – Woodley needs a knockout finish here and he knows it – but can he find the urgency needed to make it happen?
Hard right hand lands for Woodley. He throws again but misses. Burns rushes into a low takedown, but Woodley stays upright and Burns settles for clinching up.
Woodley slowly manages to turn into Burns, but he’s soon reversed again and the minutes are ticking away from him here.
Woodley turns Burns again. Two-and-a-half minutes left as Burns cuffs his ears with slaps and the ref decides to separate them.
Burns with a left hand. Leg kick for him. Hook lands for Woodley. Leg kick for Burns. Woodley still backing up and not leaving it all in the cage.
Burns able to clinch up, but Woodley quickly reverses him into the cage. Only a minute left though so this is not where he needs to be.
Woodley finally pushes away and has 45 seconds to get the KO. Leg kick from Burns. Glancing right hand from Woodley.
Right hand for Woodley, but he isn’t able to hurt Burns who is heading to a clear decision victory here.
A terrific performance from Burns here then that not only sees him defeat the former champion by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-44 x2), but also puts him firmly into the title picture at 170lbs.