Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns headlines May 23 UFC card in Las Vegas

Tyron Woodley, UFC on ESPN 9
Image: UFC on Instagram

Two of the best welterweights in the world will clash on the May 23 UFC card when Tyron Woodley meets Gilbert Burns in a five-round main event.

Woodley and Burns have been connected a matchup for a few days now, and on Wednesday the fight was confirmed by Combate. According to Raphael Marinho, the plan is for the card to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. This jives with comments made by UFC president Dana White, who said the May 23 card would take place in Vegas.

This battle between Woodley and Burns could very well see the winner of the bout earn a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. The champ is currently without an opponent and now there are rumors that Jorge Masvidal could fight Conor McGregor instead, potentially opening the door for either Woodley or Burns to jump past Colby Covington and get that next title shot at 170lbs.

Woodley has not fought since March 2019 when he lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Usman at UFC 235. The former UFC welterweight champion was set to fight Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC London but the fight was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Woodley has been trading shots with Usman, Covington, Edwards, and Burns on social media during the UFC’s hiatus, but Burns ultimately was given the fight by the UFC matchmakers.

Burns is coming off of the biggest win of his career, a brutal first-round KO at UFC Brasilia in March. Burns has won his last five fights and is a perfect 3-0 since moving up to welterweight, with other wins over Gunnar Nelson and Alexey Kunchenko. Burns has not been shy about calling out the top welterweights on the roster, and when this opportunity to fight Woodley became available he jumped on it. For Woodley, it’s an opportunity to step into the cage and shake off some rust after sitting out for a year. It should be a great fight, and the winner will be in a good position to challenge for the belt later this year.

Who wins this fight, Tyron Woodley or Gilbert Burns?