Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will defend his title against Kamaru Usman in the co-main event of the evening at UFC 235.
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Woodley (19-3-1) will go for his fourth straight title defense on Saturday night. The chap has hinted at moving up to middleweight should he win. As for Usman (14-1), the African born fighter has been on one of the more unimpressive winning streaks in the sport, totaling 15 thus far. Will his 16 be for the title?
The fighters touch gloves. Usman takes the center and Woodley circles right. Both men are cautious to start. Usman shoots a takedown and Woodley looks for a choke. Usman lands a couple of elbows and ends up on top of the champ. Woodley working his way up but Usman is sticking to him well thus far. Not much damage is being done though. Woodley is back up now. The fights trade knees and separate. Woodley working with his back close to the cage and Usman looks for another takedown but the champ defends. Usman lands a right hand and closes the distance. He presses Woodley against the cage and lands some punches and knees. Less than a minute left the referee separates the fighters. Usman moves forward and lands a right. The round ends with Usman looking for another takedown.
Usman pressures to start the second round. He lands a left hand and clinches the champ against the cage. He punches Woodley’s hamstrings and foot stomps his feet. He lands a hard elbow as Woodley retreats. He slams Woodley and moves into full mount. Usman moving very methodically here in round two. He is smothering Woodley but not doing too much damage. He lands a few right hands. Woodley is holding on for dear life. Usman postures up and lands some harder right hands that really hurt Woodley. He has the champ mounted in a bad way. He postures up again and lands three hard right hands. Woodley tries to escape but Usman is smothering him. He looks for an arm triangle choke and at the same time lights up the body of the champ. The round ends.
Usman moves forward, Woodley looks for a right hand but misses. Woodley land a leg kick. Usman clinches and lights up Woodley’s body with 19 uppercuts to the body. No joke. The referee separates the fighters after some inactivity. He backs Woodley up again and lands a right hand and again goes to the body. The pace has slowed somewhat here in round three. Usman is going to the body like never before with these uppercuts. The referee separates the fighters again for some reason. Woodley lands a partial right hand but Usman still moving forward. He lands a nice elbow as he closes the distance. He blasts the body again. The round ends with the fighters trading knees to the body.
Woodley backs up to start the round as Usman moves forward. He looks for a choke but Usman gets the champ’s legs out from under him and gets the fight to the canvas. Usman is all over Woodley here but he is not landing much damage as the crowd boos. Usman lands some more body damage as he gains full guard here in round four. Woodley trying to climb up the cage but Usman is just smothering him but not landing damage. The referee stands them up with two minutes left. Usman lands a knee in the clinch and lands an uppercut, Usman lets it go and lands a right hand. Woodley lands a right hand. Usman throws a right hand and lands an uppercut. Crazy. Usman falls into Woodley with 20 seconds left in the round. The round ends.
Woodley throws a jab to start. Usman closes the distance but Woodley looks for a choke but it’s not there. Usman slams him to the canvas. Usman is on top landing body punches with his right arm around Woodley’s neck. He is digging the champ’s body with right hooks. He buries his forearm into Woodley’s gut. Usman postures up and lands some ground and pound. Not much action here in the final frame. Usman is just all over Woodley. Woodley looks lost with 45 seconds left. The fight ends with Usman in control.
Kamaru Usman defeats Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45)