Rumor: Tyron Woodley Returns Against Masvidal, Not Maia

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UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is rumored to be defending his belt at UFC 215, but not against conensus number one contender Demian Maia.

Sources close to Woodley’s camp say that Woodley will be defending his welterweight title against Jorge Masvidal, who just recently lost a close decision to Maia at May’s UFC 211 from Dallas, Texas.

Before the close loss to Maia, Masvidal had rattled off a three-fight win streak culminating in a TKO victory over Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC on FOX 23 earlier this year. “Gamebred” is a former American Top Team (ATT) teammate of the champion’s, but obviously Woodley has little problem with booking the fight.

There’s been no official word yet on if Maia wasn’t offered the champ, but the rumor is that Maia is apparently injured. If he were found to be healthy, it’d be incredibly tough to deny him a long-deserved title shot considering the Brazilian is on an incredible seven-fight win streak. Sources say Woodley has been offered Masvidal at UFC 215 instead, but nothing official has been confirmed as of yet.

Woodley won the belt by knocking out former champ Robbie Lawler in the first round back at UFC 201. Since winning the belt, Woodley had a draw against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at last year’s UFC 205 before defeating him by decision in their rematch at March’s UFC 209, and has since called out for so-called “money fights” with Nick Diaz, Georges St-Pierre, and Michael Bisping.