The Octagon at UFC Apex is five feet smaller than the one used at standard headlining events. How much that adjustment favors Tyron Woodley or Gilbert Burns will be revealed on Saturday night. The welterweight contenders meet in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns. Their bout tops the 11-fight UFC card at the Apex facility in Las Vegas, the promotion's first event in its home state since the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Some observers believe the smaller cage favors the top-ranked Woodley, who prefers a stand-up battle. However, an argument can also be made that it favors the sixth-ranked Burns, the grappling specialist who will have less distance to make up for takedown attempts. Woodley is a -170 favorite (risk $170 to win $100), down from a high of -180, while Burns is a +145 underdog in the latest MMA odds at William Hill for the May 30 UFC fight card. Before you make any UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past 15 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up nearly $20,000.
At UFC Fight Night on May 16 in Jacksonville, Marley accurately predicted that underdog Alistair Overeem (+145) would finish Walt Harris (-165) in a battle of heavyweight contenders. The MMA analyst reasoned the veteran Overeem's more varied skill set would be the difference. He was proven correct after Overeem survived an early flurry and got the fight to the mat, where he finished Harris with ground-and-pound in the second round. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night on May 30 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Woodley vs. Burns preview
The MMA handicapper knows the May 30 main event will likely be a major turning point in the careers of both fighters. Woodley has seen one of the most successful runs in UFC welterweight history marred by inactivity due to various injuries and criticism from what some observers view as a conservative fighting style.
Woodley (19-4-1) memorably knocked out Robbie Lawler in the first round of their July 2016 bout to win the title and made four successful title defenses. But he was listless in his lopsided decision loss to Usman, who used his wrestling and cage control to dominate their fight. The former champion turned 38 in April and a loss to Burns could mean a long road back to title contention.
Burns (18-3) heads to the Apex facility as one of the promotion's hottest fighters. The 33-year-old Brazilian has flirted on the outskirts of the rankings since making his UFC debut in 2014. But he has been on a roll since a July 2018 loss to Dan Hooker, with a series of impressive outings among his five consecutive victories.
Burns knocked out revered submission specialist Demian Maia in March and immediately asked for a bout with a top contender. He called for a fight with Woodley on social media and the former champion obliged. You can see Marley's full Woodley vs. Burns predictions and picks here.
Top UFC Fight Night predictions for May 30
We'll reveal one of Marley's UFC Fight Night predictions for the May 30 card here: He is backing Billy Quarantillo (-135) to edge out Spike Carlyle (+115) in a battle of powerful prospects. The catchweight bout (150 pounds) is a late addition to the main UFC Fight Night card. Quarantillo is coming down from 155 pounds, while Carlyle is moving up from 145 pounds.
The added weight could be an edge for Carlyle (9-1), whose heavy hands have led to three straight knockout victories. The 27-year-old San Diego native made the most of his UFC debut with a first-round knockout of Aalon Cruz in February.
Quarantillo (13-2) has shown power of his own, with four knockouts included among his current six-fight win streak. But the Florida native also has shown versatility and used a triangle choke for a submission win against Jacob Kilburn in December in his UFC debut.
Marley told SportsLine that Quarantillo will have the edge in every discipline, with the possible exception of power. The MMA analyst sees the slight favorite winning a unanimous decision.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Burns vs. Woodley picks
Marley also has strong picks for Burns vs. Woodley and every other bout on the May 30 Fight Night card. He's also backing one fighter because of their "standout ground game." You can see those selections at SportsLine.
Who wins Burns vs. Woodley? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight on the UFC Fight Night card on May 30, all from the accomplished expert who's up almost $20,000 on MMA bets, and find out.
UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns odds
Tyron Woodley (-170) vs. Gilbert Burns (+145)
Augusto Sakai (-110) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (-110)
Mackenzie Dern (-410) vs. Hannah Cifers (+320)
Roosevelt Roberts (-310) vs. Brok Weaver (+250)
Katlyn Chookagian (+115) vs. Antonina Shevchenko (-135)
Billy Quarantillo (-135) vs. Spike Carlyle (+115)
Jamahal Hill (-125) vs. Klidson Abreu (+105)
Tim Elliott (-175) vs. Brandon Royval (+150)
Louis Smoka (+210) vs. Casey Kenney (-260)
Chris Gutierrez (-110) vs. Vince Morales (-110)
Daniel Rodriguez (-330) vs. Gabriel Green (+260)