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UFC on ESPN 9: Woodley vs Burns betting picks

UFC 254 Main card preview and betting picks

UFC on ESPN 9: Woodley vs Burns

Latest Odds & Fight Info
Main Event betting Woodley -185 at Bovada | Burns +160 at Bovada
When Saturday, May 30 – prelims from 3pm PDT
Where UFC APEX – Las Vegas, Nevada
Watch Live ESPN, UFC Fight Pass,

Tyron Woodley was scheduled to face Leon Edwards at UFC Fight Night 171 in March, but the COVID-19 outbreak saw the event canceled. Woodley will instead face Gilbert Burns this Saturday in the main event of the UFC on ESPN 9 event in Las Vegas. Here, we look at the latest odds and best bets for the main card.

Welterweight: Tyron Woodley (-185) vs Gilbert Burns (+160)

Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) dominated the UFC welterweight scene from 2014 through 2018, stringing together a 6-0-1 stretch that included winning the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 201 in 2016 and then successfully defending it three times. This bout will be Woodley’s first since suffering a loss to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 last year, and it will be a good indicator as to whether or not the 38-year-old still has enough left in the tank to make another run at the title.

Woodley will have his work cut out for him against Gilbert Burns (18-3-0), who has strung together five straight wins including an impressive first-round TKO against Demian Maia in March. This should be a fairly even matchup between two powerful strikers that both have only been knocked out once in their respective careers, setting the stage for a potential war of attrition.

In a loaded welterweight division that includes Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, and even Conor McGregor gunning for Usman’s title, Woodley and Burns both need a win here if they hope to get in the mix. We lean towards Woodley but wouldn’t blame anyone for taking a shot on Burns at this price.

Tyron Woodley to win by decision

+225 @ Bovada

Heavyweight: Augusto Sakai (-115) vs Blagoy Ivanov (-105)

This one is as evenly matched as the betting odds indicate. Blagoy Ivanov (18-3-0) and Augusto Sakai (14-1-1) will likely be content to trade blows in the center of the octagon, making this fight look more like a boxing match than an MMA bout.

There are arguments to be made on both sides, but Sakai is in a five-fight winning streak with four knockouts over that stretch. He’s hit the ground running in the UFC with a 3-0 record, and while he hasn’t faced anyone as tough as Ivanov yet, he should be up to the challenge.

Augusto Sakai to win by decision

+225 @ Bovada

Welterweight: Daniel Rodriguez (-350) vs Gabriel Green (+290)

Daniel Rodriguez (11-1-0) was originally set to be an underdog in a fight against Kevin Holland on this card, but Holland was forced to pull out of the event earlier this week due to an injury. Gabriel Green (9-2-0) was brought in as a last-minute replacement, and he will bring an exciting fight with him. All 11 of Green’s professional fights have been stopped without going to the cards with three knockout wins, six submission wins, and two knockout losses.

On such a chalk-heavy card, taking a shot on Green here might not be a bad idea at this price, especially since Rodriguez’s preparation in recent weeks was for another fighter. But Rodriguez has won seven straight fights and looked great in his UFC debut win over Tim Means; his power advantage should get him the win here.

Daniel Rodriguez to win by KO/TKO

+137 @ Bovada

Lightweight: Roosevelt Roberts (-360) vs Brok Weaver (+300)

Brok Weaver (15-4-0) has won eight straight fights including his UFC debut against Rodrigo Vargas (due to being on the receiving end of an illegal knee). Weaver will face the sternest competition of his career against Roosevelt Roberts (9-1-0), who should keep this fight on the mat and come away with a win.

Roosevelt Roberts to win by submission

+300 @ Bovada

Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern (-440) vs Hannah Cifers (+350)

Mackenzie Dern (7-1-0) and Hannah Cifers (10-4-0) both enter this fight coming off a loss. Cifers struggled with Angela Hill’s ground game in her last bout, and given Mackenzie Dern’s elite jui-jitsu skills, things aren’t about to get any better for her.

Mackenzie Dern to win by submission

+100 @ Bovada

UFC on ESPN 9 preliminary card

Women’s Flyweight: Antonina Shevchenko (-130) vs Katlyn Chookagian (+110)

Featherweight: Billy Quarantillo (-135) vs Spike Carlyle (+115)

Light Heavyweight: Jamahal Hill (-120) vs Klidson Abreu (+100)

Flyweight: Tim Elliott (-165) vs Brandon Royval (+145)

Bantamweight: Casey Kenney (-270) vs Louis Smolka (+230)

Featherweight: Chris Gutierrez (-110) vs Vince Morales (-110)

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