Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley looks like he finally has a dance partner as he’s expected to face rising contender Gilbert Burns in the main event on UFC’s upcoming May 23 card.
On Friday, UFC president Dana White revealed to ESPN that the promotion was discussing a main event fight for “Chosen One” for May 23. An opponent was not named, but White remained adamant that Woodley would be fighting in three weeks.
“We’re working on a fight with (Woodley) right now,” White said. “After these three dates, we’re coming right back. We’re going to do four fights in 14 days. After May 9, the UFC schedule is back on. We’re back on and running. We’re looking at a fight for Woodley. Woodley will probably be the fourth fight. He’ll be the main event.”
Following White’s interview, ESPN’s Ariel Helwani spoke with Woodley about the potential booking and the former champion announced that he’s leaning towards a matchup with Burns. Woodley explained that he had waited for rival contender Colby Covington for too long and that it was time to move on with somebody else.
Spoke to Tyron Woodley today. He said he’s leaning towards accepting a main event fight against Gilbert Burns on May 23. Fight isn’t signed yet but it’s looking good at the moment, he said. “I waited as long I could for Colby,” he said. “But he doesn’t want it, so I’m moving on.”— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 1, 2020
“I waited as long I could for Colby,” said Woodley. “But he doesn’t want it, so I’m moving on.”
Later Friday night, Burns took to social media to reveal that he has accepted a bout with “Chosen One.” That prompted Woodley to jump on Twitter himself and confirm the news for eager fight fans everywhere.
Makes two of us. https://t.co/vU7fD68t9k— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) May 2, 2020
“Makes two of us,” wrote Woodley in response to Burns.
UFC has yet to officially announce the matchup and/or the location of the May 23 event, but fight fans should expect Woodley and Burns to lock horns later this month.
Woodley, 38, last fought at UFC 235 exactly 14 months ago when he lost his UFC welterweight championship to Kamaru Usman. Before that, “Chosen One” had reigned supreme over the UFC’s stacked 170-pound division, producing a 7-1-1 record since 2014. That includes four title fight wins and victories over notable opponents like Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson, Kelvin Gastelum, and Darren Till.
Burns, 33, has rejuvenated his UFC career after getting knocked out by Dan Hooker nearly two years ago. The Brazilian’s turnaround has included a 5-0 record inside of the Octagon, a 3-0 record since returning to the welterweight division, and a recent knockout win over former UFC title challenger and MMA legend Demian Maia.
Stick with Mania for more news on UFC’s upcoming May 23 event.