Dana White Releases UFC on ESPN 9 Lineup for May 30; Says ‘Fight Island’ Opens in June

By Jay Pettry May 22, 2020

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Editor's note: The article has been updated at 5:40 p.m. ET to reflect the name change of the event from UFC Fight Night 172 to UFC on ESPN 9.

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White has announced the full bout order for the May 30 card.

On Friday, White spoke to commentator Jon Anik on ESPN’s YouTube page, where he broke down the full fight lineup of the May 30 event. UFC on ESPN 9, which does not have an official location but is being considered for the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, will be headlined by a welterweight tilt between former champ Tyron Woodley and the surging Gilbert Burns.

Woodley last competed in March 2019, where he lost his 170-pound strap against Kamaru Usman by one-sided decision. The loss snapped a seven-fight unbeaten streak that saw him defend his title three times, retain it in a draw, and originally win it by first-round knockout over former king Robbie Lawler.

Burns earned the biggest win of his career when he knocked out Demian Maia in the first round in March. Currently riding a five-fight win streak dating back to late 2018, Burns has collected wins over names like the previously 20-0 Alexey Kunchenko and talented grappler Gunnar Nelson.

Many of the fights announced had already broken, but one significant new matchup was a welterweight scrap on the main card between Kevin Holland and Daniel Rodriguez. Holland last competed on May 16, where he demolished Anthony Hernandez in 39 seconds with knees and punches. Additionally, Spike Carlyle will take on Billy Quarantillo at a 150-pound catchweight, while Chris Gutierrez squares off against Vince Morales at featherweight on the card opener.

Two other non-Fight Night topics were broached in White’s discussion with Anik. First, the UFC head was asked about the potential Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou matchup. Of that fight, after mentioning that the two fighters had been bantering on Twitter, White admitted flatly, “I don’t see that fight happening.”

The other topic that White could not avoid was the mysterious “Fight Island,” where he let out slightly more information than he has before.

“Right now we’re looking at June,” he explained as the potential start date for events held at this undisclosed location. “We’re literally gonna knock out three or four [events] there in a month. And I’m gonna stay on the island for a month, I’m gonna go stay there. I’ll probably be there the whole month of July.”

UFC on ESPN 9 Bout Lineup

Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns - welterweight
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai - heavyweight
Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez - welterweight
Roosevelt Roberts vs. Brok Weaver - lightweight
Hannah Cifers vs. Mackenzie Dern - women’s strawweight
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Antonina Shevchenko - women’s flyweight
Spike Carlyle vs. Billy Quarantillo - 150-pound catchweight
Klidson Abreu vs. Jamahal Hill - light heavyweight
Tim Elliott vs. Brandon Royval - flyweight
Casey Kenney vs. Louis Smolka - bantamweight
Chris Gutierrez vs. Vince Morales - featherweight

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