UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns Preview

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC on ESPN: Woodley vs. Burns will air on May 30, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Preliminary Card (ESPN/+)

CHRIS “EL GUAPO” GUTIERREZ (14-4-1) vs VINCE “VANDETTA” MORALES (9-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Gutierrez brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Morales brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Both are well-round; Morales is much better with his grappling. His jiu-jitsu and wrestling will overpower all of Gutierrez’s grappling abilities. Gutierrez will try to defend, but everything will be of no use. My prediction: Morales wins via unanimous decision.

LOUIS “DA LAST SAMURAI” SMOLKA (16-6-0) vs #15 CASEY KENNEY (13-2-1)
This is a three-round fight in the bantamweight division. Smolka brings boxing, Kenpo karate, and judo. Kenney brings striking, judo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Smolka is a better striker, but his grappling will fall short to Kenney. Kenney will use his jiu-jitsu and wrestling to bring Smolka to the ground. There he will out grapple him and force him to quit. My prediction: Kenney wins via submission in Round 2.

#11 TIM ELLIOTT (15-10-1) vs BRANDON “RAW DAWG” ROYVAL (10-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the flyweight division. Elliott brings striking, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Royval brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Elliot’s wrestling looks to be his key to victory. However, Royval’s Muay Thai will prove too much for him. He will throw heavy strikes and cause great damage to Elliot. Elliot will try to defend but will be unable to withstand the attacks. My prediction: Royval wins via knockout in Round 1.

JAMAHAL “SWEET DREAMS” HILL (7-0-0) vs KLIDSON “RUSSIAN TERROR” ABREU (15-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the light heavyweight division. Hill brings striking and grappling. Abreu brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Hill is a well-rounded fighter, but he will not be able to withstand the power of Abreu. Abreu will use his Muay Thai to attack Hill ruthlessly and not give him an edge. My prediction: Abreu wins via TKO in Round 2.

DANIEL “D-ROD” RODRIGUEZ (11-1-0) vs GABRIEL “GIFTED” GREEN (9-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Rodriguez brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Green brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are similar in style; Rodriguez is a little more well-rounded. He will be faster and more accurate than Green. Green will try to keep up with him, but he will begin to lose his cardio and fall behind. My prediction: Rodriguez wins via unanimous decision.

#2 KATLYN “BLONDE FIGHTER” CHOOKAGIAN (13-3-0) vs #12 ANTONINA “LA PANTERA” SHEVCHENKO (8-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s flyweight division. Chookagian brings boxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Shevchenko brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, taekwondo, and judo. Both are well-rounded in every way; Shevchenko is better at using all her skills at once. Shevchenko will attack Chookagian head-on and not give her an edge. Chookagian will try to bring the fight to the ground, but Shevchenko will defend against all her takedowns. Shevchenko will then throw more heavy attacks and keep throwing them until Chookagian goes down. My prediction: Shevchenko wins via knockout in Round 2.

Main Card (ESPN)

MACKENZIE DERN (7-1-0) vs HANNAH “SHOCKWAVE” CIFERS (10-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s strawweight division. Dern brings Muay Thai, judo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Cifers brings Muay Thai. Cifers’ Muay Thai looks to be trouble for Dern. However, Dern’s jiu-jitsu and wrestling will be more than Cifers can handle. She will bring Cifers to the ground and out grapple her with ease. My prediction: Dern wins via submission in Round 2.

ROOSEVELT “THE PREDATOR” ROBERTS (9-1-0) vs BROK “CHATA TUSKA” WEAVER (15-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Roberts brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Weaver brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are identical in techniques; Weaver is more well-rounded. He will be faster and more accurate than Roberts. Roberts will be able to stand with Weaver for the first part of the fight. He will begin to fall behind as the fight progresses. My prediction: Weaver wins via unanimous decision.

BILLY QUARANTILLO (13-2-0) vs SPIKE “THE ALPHA GINGER” CARLYLE (9-1-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Quarantillo brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Carlyle brings striking, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Similar style; Carlyle is the better fighter. He will be able to throw cleaner attacks while avoiding more of Quarantillo’s attacks. Quarantillo will try to give Carlyle everything, but he won’t be able to withstand Carlyle. My prediction: Carlyle wins via submission in Round 1.

#12 BLAGOY “BAGATA” IVANOV (18-3-0, 1 NC) vs #13 AUGUSTO SAKAI (14-1-1)
This is a three-round co-main event in the heavyweight division. Ivanov brings boxing, kickboxing, judo, and sambo. Sakai brings boxing. Sakai’s boxing power looks to be his key to victory in this fight. However, Ivanov is a tough fighter and more well-rounded than Sakai. He will be absorbing many of Sakai’s attacks while throwing his own. He will then take Sakai to the ground and out grapple him until he forces him to quit. My prediction: Ivanov wins via submission in Round 2.

#1 TYRON “THE CHOSEN ONE” WOODLEY (19-4-1) vs #6 GILBERT “DURINHO” BURNS (15-3-0)
This is a five-round main event in the welterweight division. Woodley brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. He is a former welterweight champion. Burns brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Burns is on a roll and looks to make a big statement in this fight. However, he has never faced an opponent with such power that Woodley possesses. Woodley will throw heavy strikes at Burns causing Burns to grow cautious. Burns will try to counter, but only leave himself open for more chances for Woodley to attack. Woodley will not give any edge to Burns and continue his attack until it’s over. My prediction: Woodley wins via TKO in Round 2.