Although the location has not been confirmed, former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) will face #6 ranked Gilbert Burns (18-3) at UFC Fight Night on May 30, as the card’s unofficial main event bout between title contenders.
Woodley, who turned 38 last month, hasn’t fought since losing the welterweight strap via unanimous decision to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 on March 2 last year.
It was his first defeat in five years, after Rory MacDonald was similarly victorious against him via UD in three rounds at UFC 174.
Nonetheless, The Chosen One will be keen to bounce back with a signature display vs. a tricky opponent in Brazil’s Gilbert Burns, who is riding a five-fight winning streak.
Burns earned a first-round TKO victory over Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 170 on March 14 and beating the #1 contender would propel him into serious title contention.
Usman’s TKO win over Colby Covington at UFC 245 was his last fight, he may potentially face Jorge Masvidal (35-13) in his latest defence next at some stage before this year ends.
Woodley’s two opportunities to return fell through
He was expected to face Robbie Lawler (28-14, 1 NC) on June 29 that year in a rematch of their UFC 201 encounter, but sustained a hand injury and pulled from the fight card.
Then, Woodley was slated to face Leon Edwards (18-3) at UFC Fight Night 171 in London on March 21 this year. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced Edwards to withdraw as the event was expected to be moved to the US – before being postponed indefinitely.
They have done a fantastic job in staging three shows over an eight-day period at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
However, the location for this month’s final card remains to be seen.
UFC president Dana White told reporters the company may shift their operations to Arizona if Las Vegas – the original destination for Fight Night 176 – is off-limits.
Updated (May 22): Here’s the card as confirmed by Dana
Welterweight bout: Tyron Woodley vs Gilbert Burns
Heavyweight: Augusto Sakai vs Blagoy Ivanov
Women’s strawweight: Mackenzie Dern vs Hannah Cifers
Light-heavyweight: Klidson Abreu vs Jamahal Hill
Lightweight: Roosevelt Roberts vs Brok Weaver
Flyweight: Tim Elliott vs Brandon Rovyal
Bantamweight: Casey Kenney vs Louis Smolka
Woman’s flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian vs Antonina Shevchenko
Bantamweight: Chris Gutierrez vs Vince Morales
Catchweight (150 lbs): Billy Quarantillo vs Spike Carlyle
Welterweight: Kevin Holland vs Daneil Rodriguez