clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Woodley wanted five-round fight with Burns: ‘The element of surprise is a motherf—r’

New, comments

Tyron Woodley says he opted for a five-rounder with Gilbert Burns, who has no experience in such a grueling fight.

MMA: UFC 228=Woodley vs Till Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Gilbert Burns has been in the UFC for nearly five years now, but he hasn’t fought past three rounds. That can likely change this Saturday in his first headliner against former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

Burns’ zero experience in fighting championship rounds is something Woodley is looking to exploit. In a recent conversation with MMA Junkie Radio, “The Chosen One” says it is the reason why he wanted this bout to be 25 minutes long at the most.

“This fight in particular with Gilbert Burns is, I’m confident because of who I am and what I’m doing,” Woodley said. “I’m aware of what he does, I’m aware of how he is – he’s got a nice little left hook, uppercut, got some knees and flying knees, kicks and punches and calf kicks.

“I haven’t really seen much different from him. I’ve seen his style, and I’ve kind of gotten it broken down, but the element of surprise is a motherf—r.

“When you start doing stuff they don’t expect you to do, that’s what I think he won’t be prepared for,” he continued. “He won’t be prepared to get exhausted and drained, and I wanted this. I had the option to fight this fight in a three-round fight, and I wanted a five-round fight because he ain’t never fought five rounds before, not in the UFC, not to my knowledge.”

Woodley has been in four five-round fights in his UFC run, two of which he came out victorious. He feels he has a big advantage given these experiences, especially when the fight goes beyond round three.

“So three rounds, starting off strong or loafing in the beginning to finish strong is not going to work, is not going to work in a five-round fight,” he said. “That’s what my goal is: Just take him in that deep water and just trying to drown him.”

Woodley vs. Burns will headline the UFC on ESPN card this Saturday at the APEX facility in Las Vegas.