Kamaru Usman Embarrasses Champ Tyron Woodley To Claim Welterweight Title
Tyron Woodley entered the cage in the co-main event of UFC 235 tonight attempting to make the fifth defence of his UFC Welterweight Title reign against Kamaru Usman.
Woodley came into tonight’s fight on the back of one of his most impressive UFC showings to date, with a dominant submission win over Darren Till back in September.
Despite significant hype surrounding Till’s striking ability, Woodley outclassed the Englishman on the feet before dropping him and unleashing a barrage of strikes on the ground.
Till showed serious heart by staying in the fight, but would ultimately succumb to an anaconda choke at the end of the second round.
Despite that win, Woodley has repeatedly butted heads with UFC president Dana White during his time in the organisation. White criticised his welterweight champion for refusing to fight Colby Covington while recovering from an injury. Woodley explained his actions in an interview with MMA Fighting.
I’ve stepped up for the UFC many, many, many times. But at one point, you need to start monitoring your legacy, monitoring your title run, monitoring the way you want to be remembered. I don’t want to be remembered as a guy that lost a fight to Colby Covington, or anybody else, because he knew he wasn’t 100 percent, or wasn’t given the chance to at least go through the physician that performed the surgery on his hand to get his clearance.”
Meanwhile, Kamaru Usman has racked up an impressive undefeated record inside the UFC octagon since his debut in 2015, including wins over Rafael Dos Anjos and Damian Maia. Usman enjoyed a successful career in collegiate wrestling before transitioning into MMA and recently told Sportsworld about his feeling that he was destined for success in his athletic pursuits from a young age.
“When I first got into the sport, or first got into athletics, I always felt that sense of responsibility that I was destined for something bigger, that I was going to do something major. The only thing is, I didn’t know what it was, what sport or where my athletics career would take me. Since I have been in this sport I realised this was it – this is what I was destined for.”
The fight was made even more intriguing by the looming presence of former Interim UFC Welterweight Champion Colby Covington having made his presence known during fight week. Covington crashed Usman’s open workout on Friday with a megaphone, heckling Usman while asserting his claim to be the best 170lbs fighter in the world.
Colby Covington just crashed Kamaru Usman’s open workout with his belt and a megaphone. pic.twitter.com/X6iCDazrJV
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 28, 2019
At this Friday’s weigh-ins, Usman wore green and white paint on his face for the event as a nod to his Nigerian heritage.
With both men having made championship weight for the bout, they faced off for the fans and media in attendance and the tension between them was palpable.
Usman managed to dominate Woodley for the entire fight, landing multiple takedowns and outstriking the much favoured Woodley.
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