Brazilian welterweight Gilbert Burns upset American Tyron Woodley in a five-round, unanimous decision in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Burns (19-3), who is from Rio de Janeiro and trains in South Florida, has now won six straight bouts and was impressive in defeating Woodley, who entered as the No. 1 contender in the world in the welterweight division. One judge scored the fight 50-45, while the other two had it at 50-44.
Woodley, 38, enjoyed a three-inch reach advantage, but Burns, 33, stalked him throughout, scoring two massive knockdowns.
In fact, Burns knocked Woodley down in the opening minute, using a right uppercut, a right knee and a then flurry of punches. Those blows opened a major gash over Woodley’s left eye and nearly ended the fight early.
Woodley (19-5-1) recovered enough to escape the round, but he got punched down again the fourth round. He never seriously threatened to win the bout.
It was Woodley’s first bout since he lost his championship belt to Kamaru Usman nearly 15 months ago, and the rust was evident.
Burns had a 76-29 edge in significant strikes. He also had ground-control time for nearly five minutes (4:57) to just two seconds for Woodley.
In the co-main event, heavyweight Augusto Sakai of Brazil earned a split decision over Bulgarian Blagoy Ivanov.
One judge had Ivanov winning by a 30-27 score. But Sakai won the other two cards, 29-28, to raise his record to 15-1-1. Ivanov fell to 18-4 in a battle a pair of 250-plus-pound fighters.
Sakai has won six consecutive fights, including two split decisions. Ivanov, meanwhile, has lost consecutive split decisions.
In a catchweight bout, Billy Quarantillo (14-2) defeated Spike Carlyle (9-2) by a narrow unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three cards.
In what was likely the best fight of the night, Carlyle came out with a sprint and seemed to win the first two rounds. But Quarantillo nearly knocked out a weary Carlyle at the end, and that earned him the win.
Further down the main card, lightweight Roosevelt Roberts (10-1) got Brok Weaver (15-5) in a rear-naked choke and earned a submission win 3:26 into the second round.
In a women’s strawweight bout, Mackenzie Dern (8-1) submitted Hannah Cifers (10-5) with a knee bar at 2:36 of the first round.
—Field Level Media