The UFC returns to action this coming Saturday for UFC Fight: Woodley vs Burns or UFC on ESPN 9 which will be held at the UFC’s APEX facility in Nevada.

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will headline the event and he will face the promotion’s 6th ranked 170-pound fighter in Gilbert Burns. This will be Woodley’s first bout since losing his belt to Kamaru Usman 15 months ago. Woodley was supposed to fight Leon Edwards last March but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Chosen One will look to bounce back with a big win here to get another crack at his old belt.

Let’s take a look at Saturday’s main card and make our predictions:

“Fighting" Tyron Woodley vs Gilbert Burns

Woodley is the former UFC welterweight champion who made three successful title defenses before losing to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235. That loss was his first since 2014 and Woodley has not fought in the last 15 months. The Chosen One stands 5-9 and has a reach of 74 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 19-4 with seven knockouts and five wins via submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 05/27/2020

Gilbert Burns is the 6th ranked welterweight in the UFC. The 33-year old from Brazil is a former World Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist. He was the grappling coach for Team Vitor at The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Burns is 5-10 tall with a reach of 71 inches and is also an orthodox fighter. He owns a record of 18-3 with six knockouts and eight wins via submission.

Woodley is a deceiving fighter. He fights on his back-foot and then explodes with his offense. He doesn’t have many knockouts but Woodley is a very powerful striker. And then he is also an elite wrestler who can do damage on the ground. On the other hand, Burns is also a terrific fighter on the ground given his grappling background. He’s displayed some power too but Burns has fought mostly at lightweight. I think Woodley will be too experienced and too strong for him. I expect Woodley to stop him with a knockout punch or a vicious ground and pound.

Prediction: Tyron Woodley (-177)

“Fighting" Blagoy Ivanov vs Augusto Sakai

Ivanov is the 12th ranked UFC heavyweight. The 33-year old Bulgarian is a former heavyweight champion for the World Series of Fighting and is also a former PFL heavyweight champion. Ivanov stands 5-11 with a reach of 73 inches and is a southpaw fighter. He has a record of 18-3 with six knockouts and six wins via submission. He is 2-2 inside the octagon and is coming off a loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 244.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 05/27/2020

Augusto Sakai fought mostly in Brazil before heading out to the United States to sign with Bellator. He earned a UFC contract via Dana White’s Contender Series in Brazil and has three straight wins inside the octagon. Sakai stands 6-3 tall and has a reach of 77 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 14-1 with 11 knockouts. In his last bout, he knocked out Marcin Tybura inside round one.

Ivanov has never been knocked out before so he should be a big test of Sakai’s power which has netted 11 KOs in 14 wins. Ivanov is patient and doesn’t force the action. Meanwhile, Sakai moves well for a big guy and throws straight long punches. He has a killer left hand but should be in a war against a durable opponent. This could go either way but I will go with the fighter who has the longer reach.

Prediction: Augusto Sakai (-114)

“Fighting" Roosevelt Roberts vs Brok Weaver

Roosevelt Roberts was an undefeated fighter when he signed up for The Ultimate Fighter 28 and he also appeared in Dana White’s Contender Series Season 2, Episode 7. This 26-year old from Miami, Florida won the interim CXF lightweight title before leaving for Bellator and then the UFC. He stands 6-2 tall with a reach of 73 inches and is an orthodox fighter. Roberts has a record of 9-1 with three knockouts and four wins via submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 05/27/2020

Brok Weaver fought most of his career for the Square Ring Promotions – Island Fights. He is also a product of Dana White’s Contender Series and this 28-year old is a southpaw who stands six feet tall with a reach of 73 inches. Weaver has a record of 15-4 with two knockouts and three wins by way of submission.

Weaver likes to Brawl and pushes the action forward but he doesn’t have knockout power. However, he is also hard to put down as he has been knocked out just once. Roberts is a very patient fighter and he doesn’t rush into things unless he smells blood. He has long straight punches and is excellent in the grappling exchanges. I like Roberts here because he is more well-rounded.

Prediction: Roosevelt Roberts (-340)

“Fighting" Mackenzie Dern vs Hannah Cifers

Dern fought for Legacy Fighting Alliance and Invicta FC before heading to the UFC. This 27-year old is a former ADCC and no-gi BJJ world champion. She won her first seven MMA fights before losing to Amanda Ribas by unanimous decision in her most recent bout last October 2019. She stands 5-4 tall and has a reach of 64 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. The former #1 ranked IBJJF competitor has a record of 7-1 with four wins by submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from SportsBetting as of 05/27/2020

Cifers fought for various organizations like Fight Lab and Titan FC. She joined the UFC in 2018 and has split her first four octagon assignments. The 27-year old stands 5-1 tall and has a reach of 62 inches and is an orthodox fighter. She has a record of 10-4 with five wins via knockout. In her last bout, Cifers suffered a knockout loss to Angela Hill last January 2020.

Dern is a very high-level grappler given her credentials and seven of her ten wins have been by submission. Her size makes her big for the strawweight division and gives her an advantage when she is on top of her opponent. On her feet though, she is just an ordinary striker with little to no head movement. Cifers is a big underdog here but Shockwave is a game opponent who has power in her hands. She is a good striker who is fast and accurate when she throws her combinations. Dern only has an 8% takedown accuracy. If she can’t take Cifers down, she can’t win this fight. I’ll take the plus money here.

Prediction: Hannah Cifers (+345)

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