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Tyron Woodley faces Kamaru Usman in battle of welterweight powerhouses at UFC 235

Tyron Woodley faces Kamaru Usman in battle of welterweight powerhouses at UFC 235
The co-main event at UFC 235 will see dominant UFC welterweight world champion Tyron Woodley take 'The Nigerian Nightmare' Kamaru Usman in his latest world title defense in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Woodley hasn't lost since a decision defeat to Rory MacDonald in 2014 and has successfully defended his UFC welterweight world title four times since he stunned Robbie Lawler to win the belt back in 2016.

A draw with Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson forced an immediate rematch, which Woodley edged via majority decision as he shaded double-header against the decorated striker. Then he dominated submission wizard Demian Maia at UFC 214 before finishing Britain's Darren Till via second-round submission at UFC 228 last September.

Now "The Chosen One" is all set to face Usman, a powerhouse wrestler who boasts a 14-1 record and hasn't lost a fight in his UFC career.


Usman also dominated Maia to earn a unanimous decision victory, but it was his most recent and a very impressive display to defeat former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos - that elevated Usman from contender to challenger in the eyes of the UFC's matchmakers.

And the 31-year-old believes it's his time to step up and take on the mantle of world champion as he gets ready to take on a world champion with a similar skillset to his own.

Both men possess concussive punch power and exceptionally strong wrestling skills. The duo also own underrated - and, at times, under-utilized - submission skills.

The fact the two fighters appear to match up so well on paper may mean the match-up could turn into a stand-up battle between two heavy-handed wrestlers.


And while Usman has never been stopped by strikes in his career, Woodley was finished in devastating fashion in Strikeforce by Nate Marquardt, which offers a small chink in the defending champion's armor.

The big question, of course, is whether Usman, fighting in the biggest bout of his career, can raise his game and exploit it. Or will Woodley - a master of game management inside the octagon - control the action en route to his fifth successful world title defense.

Follow live updates on UFC 235 with RT Sport on Saturday night.

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