Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns to headline UFC on May 30, but where?

May 19, 2020

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It isn’t yet clear where, but the UFC will return with another Fight Night event on May 30. It is expected to feature Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns.

Following a series of three UFC events over the course of eight days in Jacksonville, Fla., UFC president Dana White assured everyone that the promotion would hold its next event on May 30, even though he doesn’t yet have a definitive location for it.

White fully intends to start running events at the UFC’s Apex facility on its Las Vegas campus beginning with the May 30 event, but that is dependent upon the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions in Nevada. If Nevada doesn’t yet allow the UFC to operate at its home base, White is prepared to go to Arizona.

Governor Doug Ducey last week announced that professional sports leagues could return to Arizona without an audience in attendance.

“I don’t know yet (if the Apex will be allowed), but that’s what we’re working for,” White said following UFC on ESPN 8, the third and final event in Jacksonville. “We’re rolling now. If we can’t get May 30 at the Apex, it’s going to be super disappointing, but we will go somewhere else.”

Asked if that somewhere else might be Arizona, White replied, “That’s where I’ll go. That’s 100 percent where I’ll go.”

Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burn to headline UFC Fight Night on May 30

Regardless of it being held in Las Vegas or Arizona, the UFC Fight Night event on May 30 is expected to feature a headlining bout between former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and streaking contender Gilbert Burns. 

Woodley is more than a year removed from losing the belt to current titleholder Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019. He has been scheduled to fight a couple of times since then, but both bouts have been derailed.

Woodley was expected to headline a Fight Night event opposite fellow former champ Robbie Lawler, but a nagging hand injury forced him out of the fight. He was recently slated to fight Leon Edwards in a Fight Night headliner on March 21 in London, but coronavirus restrictions nixed that event altogether.

A multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, Burns has finally hit his stride in the Octagon. Burns made his UFC debut in 2014, but struggled to gain championship momentum. He is currently on a five-fight winning streak that includes the likes of Gunner Nelson and Demian Maia. A victory over the likes of Woodley would likely put Burns in the thick of title talks.

Burns on Tuesday Tweeted that he had signed his bout agreement for the fight, now it’s just a matter of learning where the fight will take place, in Las Vegas or Arizona, likely in Phoenix.

“I gotta get the thumbs up from Nevada because, hopefully, we’re doing this next fight in the Apex,” said White. “If not, then we’ll be working on Arizona next.”

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