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Morning Report: Tyron Woodley on Gillbert Burns fight next weekend: ‘I’m in a violent headspace’

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Tyron Woodley (EL, MMA F) Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Next weekend, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodly will begin his trek back towards the title he lost last year. The event, which is tentatively scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, will be headlined by a bout between Woodley and sixth-ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns. Burns, a multiple-time world BJJ world champion, made the move up to the welterweight division last August and has rattled off impressive wins over the likes of Demian Maia and Gunnar Nelson. But despite Burns’ current hot streak, Woodley feels confident heading into the bout.

“What I like about this matchup for me is that it’s a five-round fight,” Woodley said on his Hollywood Beatdown show on TMZ Sports. “I don’t know if he’s ever fought a five-round fight, but it’s different. It’s different than trying to come out and explode. He goes out there and he either explodes in the first two rounds and then starts to fade in the third or he explodes in first round, the second round is kinda crazy, and then he just lets it all hang out in the third round. When you’re down 3-0 and I’m up three rounds and then you come out and get picked apart in the fourth, then you’re left to desperation. You’re left to swing big and kick big and go for takedowns and I think if anybody in the UFC is gonna have an eyeball to see that sh*t from a mile away, get out the way, and sting you with some shots, it’s me.”

Woodley held the UFC welterweight title from July of 2016 until March of 2019. His most recent fight was a disaster though, a five round drubbing to Kamaru Usman. Woodley has repeatedly put his performance down to just having a bad night, but that has not stopped the sharks from circling, and Woodley sees this bout as an opportunity to remind the MMA world exactly who he is.

“It’s always short-term memory,” Woodley said. “People only remember you for your last outing and it’s been so long ago, it’s time to remind them. . . I’m in a violent headspace. I don’t know another way to put it. I’m willing to do some very sh*tty stuff to people, put them in compromising positions, hurt them. Literally, hurt them, not just go out there and try to get the win. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this focused during my stint in the UFC. I don’t know if I’ve been this ornery. Today I was yelling and cursing at my sparring partners. That’s how I know I’m peaking at the right time. That’s how I know I’m ready to go.”

Originally, Woodley was supposed to face Leon Edwards at UFC London this past March, however, the coronavirus pandemic played havoc with those plans, as the event was moved from London before ultimately being scrapped. During the chaos though, Burns offered to step in against Woodley on short-notice but when a bout never materialized, Burns blamed it on Woodley, repeatedly calling out “The Chosen One” on social media. Ultimately, that outspokenness landed Burns this fight but Woodley says that’s a double-edged sword for Burns, who is stepping into a world he is not ready for.

“You can’t miss this. This is going to be a clear case of someone asking for something they didn’t really know what they were asking for,” Woodley said. “I’m gonna let the person talk but when we get in there in the octagon, the performance I put on is going to be crazy. I’m gonna be talking sh*t to him, I’m gonna be pushing him in the face, I’m gonna be punching him, I’m going to deny every takedown, every scramble, and I’m gonna leave him out there and it’s gonna be like, ‘F*ck, why did the UFC match him up with this dude? That’s a mismatch. That ain’t even fair.’ People are gonna feel bad for him.”

Tyron Woodley faces Gilbert Burns next Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 30.


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What the Heck, with Colby Covington, Chase Sherman, and Kevin Holland.

Every Anderson Silva finish.

Free fight.

10 champions who lost fights but kept the belt.

GW talked to George Lockhart about cutting weight.

Tommy Toe Hold.


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That is correct.

Will be funny as hell if the UFC pinched pennies here and then JBJ gets bolted by Jan. Won’t happen, but still.

So Petr Yan vs. Marlon Moraes for the belt?

Lookin for a fight.

Making an effort.


Team Run Together, huh?


Chris Gutierrez (14-3-1) vs. Vince Morales (9-4); UFC Fight Night, May 30.

Casey Kenny (13-2-1) vs. Louis Smolka (16-6); UFC Fight Night, May 30.

Brock Weaver (15-4) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (9-1); UFC Fight Night, May 30.

Tim Elliot (15-10-1) vs. Brandon Royval (10-4); UFC Fight Night, May 30.

Aljamain Sterling (18-3) vs. Cory Sanghagen (12-1); UFC Fight Night, June 6.

Neil Magny (22-7) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (17-5); UFC Fight Night, June 6.

Ariane Lipski (12-5) vs. Luana Carolina (6-1); UFC Fight Night, June 13.

Josh Emmett (15-2) vs. Shane Burgos (13-1); UFC Fight Night, June 20.

Paige VanZant (8-4) vs. Amanda Ribas (9-1); UFC Fight Night, July 11.


So much for “the UFC makes the fights the fans want to see”.

Thanks for reading. For those in the states, enjoy the long weekend and see y’all on Tuesday.



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