Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is without question the most qualified person to break down the upcoming 170-pound title fight between Kamaru Usman (champion) and Gilbert Burns (challenger).
That’s because “The Chosen One” is coming off back-to-back decision losses to “The Nigerian Nightmare” and “Durinho” and had a full 25 minutes in both contests to assess what each combatant brings to the Octagon on fight night.
“He has power,” Woodley told “UFC Unfiltered” (via Farrah Hannoun) about Burns. “He has more power than Usman. He’s a better grappler than Usman, jiu-jitsu wise, but I think the striking – he may not be better, but he does punch a little bit harder, and it’s going to be a point where it has to go to the ground. We all just can be real: Gilbert’s gonna win that ground fight. Maybe not from his back, but if he finds a way on top or a position where he can take the back, it’s a problem.”
Burns (19-3) has been a problem for his last six opponents.
UFC President Dana White recently confirmed that Burns would be the next contender for the 170-pound title; however, with Usman (17-1) fresh off his Jorge Masvidal win in Abu Dhabi, we’re not likely to see “The Nigerian Nightmare” return to the cage until year’s end.
As for the struggling Woodley (19-5-1), he’s expected to make his Octagon return at some point within the next few months against bitter rival and fellow welterweight contender Colby Covington, though nothing is official at this time.