If Tyron Woodley wants to continue his reign at 170 pounds, he’s going to have to do something no one has managed to do yet.
Beat Kamaru Usman inside the Octagon.
MMA Fighting’s Chuck Mindenhall and Shaun Al-Shatti confirmed with sources that Woodley and Usman will meet in a bout for Woodley’s welterweight championship belt at UFC 235 on March 2 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. ESPN was first to report the news.
The matchup materialized in the wake of months of speculation that Woodley would face former training partner and hated rival Colby Covington, but despite plenty of back-and-forth chatter between the two that pairing has fizzled for now. Instead, it will be Usman who gets the opportunity to unseat Woodley. Usman and Woodley have had their fair share of heat, taking shots at each other on social media.
In his last seven fights, Woodley has recorded six wins and one draw. He defeated Robbie Lawler by first-round KO at UFC 201 back in July 2016 to capture the welterweight title and twice fended off Stephen Thompson (via majority draw at UFC 205 and then majority decision at UFC 209) before dispatching his past two challengers, Darren Till and Demian Maia.
This will be Woodley’s fifth scheduled championship defense. He is 9-2-1 in the UFC and 19-3-1 overall as a pro.
Usman (14-1) holds an unblemished UFC mark with nine wins since making his debut with a win in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter 21. Overall, he has won 13 straight fights, most recently picking up notable five-round unanimous decision nods over dos Anjos and Maia.