UFC on ESPN 9 is set for Saturday night—the first combat sports event to originate from the state of Nevada since its ban on combat sports was lifted.
The ban is over:
Wednesday, in a virtual meeting, members of the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted to remove the ban on combat sports, such as mixed martial arts and boxing, after over 70 days.
Just minutes into the phone call, the UFC was given the go-ahead to hold this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns and next weekend’s UFC 250: Nunes vs. Spencer.
This ban was first enacted on March 14, three days removed from the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic.
UFC on ESPN 9 will be aired and streamed as a live simulcast on ESPN and ESPN+, the cable network’s subscription-based streaming platform.
Undercard action will begin Saturday evening at 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT on both properties.
The main card then follows at 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT.
UFC on ESPN 9 originates from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, will feature 11 fights in total, and will take place without a live audience present due to restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
This UFC Fight Night will be highlighted by a Welterweight main event between No. 1 contender and former four-time division champion Gilbert Burns (19-4-1) and No. 6 contender Tyron Woodley (18-3).
As always, this headliner will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
Heading into the Saturday night main event, Gilbert Burns the taller contender, standing at 5-foot-10, an inch taller than Tyron Woodley at 5-foot-9.
How they got here:
Tyron Woodley has posted a 3-1-1 record in his last five fights, the lone loss in that span coming last time out (unanimous decision) vs. Kamaru Usman in UFC 235’s co-main event for the UFC’s Welterweight title.
In the other corner, Gilbert Burns has gone 5-0 in his last five MMA fights, most recently scoring a first-round knockout (left hook, ground and pound) against Demian Maia in UFC on ESPN+ 28’s co-main event.
The Tale of the Tape:
UFC.com shows that Tyron Woodley owns a three-inch reach advantage (74 inches to 71 inches) and a 2.5-inch leg reach advantage (42.5 inches to 40 inches) over Gilbert Burns heading into this main event.
Prediction: Gilbert Burns by second-round knockout.
Other fights on Saturday’s main card include:
Co-Main Event: No. 12 contender Blagoy Ivanov (18-3, one no-contest) vs. No. 13 contender Augusto Sakai (14-1-1) [Heavyweight]
Billy Quarantillo (1-0) vs. Spike Carlyle (1-0) [catchweight- 150 lbs.]
Roosevelt Roberts (8-1) vs. Brok Weaver (14-4) [Lightweight]
MacKenzie Dern (7-1) vs. Hannah Cifers (10-4) [Strawweight]
UFC on ESPN 9 at a Glance: [all times Saturday]
Prelims: 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. PT, ESPN and ESPN+
Main Card: 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT, ESPN and ESPN+