A high-stakes welterweight pairing between former champion, Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley, and surging Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Gilbert ‘Durinho’ Burns, is expected to headline a UFC Fight Night event on May 23rd. Promotional president, Dana White confirmed the organisation’s plan to have the bout headline the May 23rd. card on UFC Unfiltered, with Matt Serra and Jim Norton.
Woodley was scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night London on March 21st. against Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards, until the entire event was cancelled, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A return on May 23rd. – would mark the former titleholder’s first outing since his championship loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March of last year. Grappling ace, Burns, recently extended a staggering win streak to five – via an opening-round knockout of former middleweight and welterweight title challenger, Demian Maia, at UFC Fight Night Brasília in March.
Roufusport trainee, Woodley, suffered his first defeat since June of 2014 against former Bellator welterweight champion, Rory MacDonald – dropping just the third win of his seven-year Octagon tenure. The St. Louis native rose to promotional prominence back at UFC 201, finishing then-champion, Robbie Lawler inside the first frame via strikes. The 38-year-old successfully defended the 170-pound gold four times, retaining twice against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, taking a forgettable decision win over the previously noted, Maia – before a D’Arce choke win over Darren Till. Woodley currently sits at the #1 rank at the welterweight table.
Rio de Janeiro-born submission specialist, Burns, has spent his last three outings in the welterweight division. After victories over Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and Mike Davis – Burns moved back to 170-pounds where he bested Gunnar Nelson, and former M-1 Global welterweight best, Alexey Kunchenko, before his aforementioned stoppage of Maia. The Henri Hooft product kicked-off his Octagon stint at welterweight, taking a trio of triumphs over Andreas Ståhl, Christos Giagos, and ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira. Burns is a two-time IBJJ world champion in both gi and no-gi competition – as well as a World Cup and World Jiu-Jitsu Championship gold medalist. The second degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is the #6 ranked welterweight in the UFC.