The Apex Fight Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a fun night of fights at UFC On ESPN 9: Woodley vs. Burns. The card saw two (T)KOs, four submissions and five decisions, including one split-decision.
The UFC’s first card at their Apex Fight Center was a good one, filled with action-packed fights and several finishes. Katlyn Chookagian rebounded from her knockout loss to Valentina Shevchenko by completely and utterly outclassing her older sister Antonina Shevchenko. If ever there was an example of the vast gulf in talent between siblings, this was a prime one.
Mackenzie Dern returned strong after suffering her first loss to Amanda Ribas last year. Her first round kneebar finish of Hannah Cifers was the first leglock submission in women’s UFC history.
The main event saw a lopsided fight between Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns. Burns dropped Woodley early in the first round, opening up a nasty gash over Tyron’s left eye. The fight continued on with Burns tuning Woodley up, dropping him again briefly in the fourth round and just never slowing down his assault. Burns brutalized Woodley from start to finish, winning every round easily.
Performance of the Night: Mackenzie Dern, Gilbert Burns
Chris Gutierrez (TKO (leg kicks) at 4:27 of round 2), Casey Kenney (submission (guillotine choke) at 3:03 of round 1), Brandon Royval (submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:18 of round 2), Jamahal Hill (TKO (strikes) at 1:51 of round 1), Mackenzie Dern (submission (kneebar) at 2:36 of round 1), and Roosevelt Roberts (submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:26 of round 2) all won their fights inside the distance but it would be Mackenzie Dern and Gilbert Burns that would ride off with $50K extra in their pockets.
Fight of the Night: Elliott vs. Royval
Daniel Rodriguez (30-27 x3), Katlyn Chookagian (30-25 x3), Billy Quarantillo (29-28 x3), Augusto Sakai (27-30, 29-28, 29-28), and Gilbert Burns (50-45, 50-44x2) all saw their fights go to the final bell but it was Brandon Royval’s excellent showing against Tim Elliott that would take the FOTN bonus cash.