FREE ON ESPN MAY 30, 2020: PIVOTAL WELTERWEIGHT CLASH BETWEEN TYRON WOODLEY AND GILBERT BURNS HEADLINES FIRST UFC APEX EVENT
Las Vegas – UFC returns to Las Vegas with a pivotal bout in the welterweight division as former champion and No. 1 ranked contender Tyron Woodley looks to work his way back to title contention by snapping the impressive winning streak of No. 6 Gilbert Burns. Also on the card, No. 2 ranked women’s flyweight contender Katlyn Chookagian aims to bounce back into the win column when she meets fellow striker No. 12 Antonina Shevchenko. This will be the first in a series of events set to take place at UFC’s Apex facility. Future cards will be announced at a later date. These events will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance pursuant to a Health, Safety and Operations plan approved by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: WOODLEY vs. BURNS will take place Saturday, May 30 at All bouts will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes in English and Spanish, and be simulcast on ESPN+, beginning with the prelims at 6 p.m. ET and the main card at 9 p.m. ET.
Looking to make an emphatic return to action, Woodley plans to remind the division of the skills that made him one of the most dominant champions in welterweight history. Competing for the first time in over a year, Woodley intends to add another signature win to his resume that already includes victories over Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia. He now aims to make a statement and stake his claim for another title shot.
Currently on the best winning streak of his UFC career, Burns looks to secure his biggest victory yet. A multiple-time world champion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Burns has earned wins over fellow grapplers Demian Maia,Gunnar Nelson and Olivier Aubin-Mercier. He now looks to take out his first former UFC champion and break into the top 5 of the division.
Chookagian looks to take the lessons learned from her recent title bout and return to her winning ways. One of the most skilled strikers in the division, Chookagian has netted wins over Joanne Calderwood, Jennifer Maia and Irene Aldana. She now aims to defend her spot at the top of the rankings by defeating the sister of the champion.
A multiple-time world champion in Muay Thai, Shevchenko aims to continue her climb up the women’s flyweight rankings. Despite being in the UFC for less than two years, Shevchenko has established herself as one of its top prospects with wins over Ji Yeon Kim and Lucie Pudilova. She now intends to replicate her sister’s victory over Chookagian and secure the biggest win of her MMA career.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT: WOODLEY vs. BURNS is also stacked with up-and-coming talent looking to make their mark on the sport, including Billy Quarantillo and Spike Carlyle, who intend to build off their impressive debuts in a catchweight bout at 150 pounds. Additionally, in a clash of Dana White’s Contender Series standouts, Brok Weaver and Roosevelt Roberts aim to prove that they are the next top prospect in the lightweight division.
Additional bouts on the card include:
- In a battle of heavyweight contenders seeking to break into the top 10, No. 12 Blagoy Ivanov aims to stop the rise of surging No. 13 Augusto Sakai
- Submission ace Mackenzie Dern (7-1, fighting out of Long Beach, Calif.) faces Hannah Cifers in a women’s strawweight bout
- Jamahal Hill (7-0, fighting out of Grand Rapids, Mich.) aims to remain undefeated when he meets Klidson Abreu (15-4, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil)
- No.11 ranked flyweight contender Timothy Elliott (16-10-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) squares off with UFC newcomer Brandon Royval (10-4, fighting out of Englewood, Colo.)
- Chris Gutierrez (14-3, fighting out of Littleton, Colo.) looks to secure his third win in a row when he takes on Vince Morales (9-5, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)
- Exciting bantamweight grapplers meet as Louis Smolka (16-6, fighting out of Kapolei, Hawaii) battles Casey Kenney (9-2, fighting out of Tucson, Ariz.)
- In a welterweight bout, Daniel Rodriguez (11-1, fighting out of San Gabriel, Calif.) looks to remain undefeated in the UFC when he welcomes
short-notice newcomer Gabriel Green (9-2, fighting out of Downey, Calif.)