#4. Tyron Woodley (19-3-1) (c) vs. Kumaru Usman (14-1) (UFC Welterweight Championship)
It was time for the first of two title fights of the night. A win for Woodley and he continues on his path towards becoming the greatest Welterweight of all time.
The Nigerian Nightmare, though, can shit his detractors up if he pulls off an upset!
Round 1: Usman moved forward as soon as the fight began. Kumaru shot for the takedown, Woodley initially defended but went down near the cage. Woodley got his hands underneath Usman's chin in a side headlock.
Woodley worked his way up to his feet as Usman landed some good knees to the body. They broke up and Usman continued to keep up the pressure. He went for the single leg takedown but Woodley defended and clinched.
Usman was doing a fantastic job of closing the distance and indulging in some wrestling. He wasn't staying idle either as he showed some good bodywork with the knees and punches.
Usman went for the knee tap transition takedown but Woodley defended it again to end the round. A strong round for the challenger!
Round 2: Woodley needed some more volume and was told by his corner to move forward. Usman closed down the gap again as he clinched with Woodley onto the cage. Knees, foot stomps, short shoulder thrusts; Usman kept it busy.
Usman connected with an elbow on the break. Woodley felt that for sure. The Nigerian went right back in and took Woodley down. Usman was outwrestling Woodley at this point as he got into full guard.
Usman dominated from the top as he had Woodley mounted and kept the volume of strikes going. Vicious elbows from the top as Woodley remained flat on his back without a way out. Usman looked shockingly good.
Kumaru went for the Arm Triangle by Woodley arched his body back at the right time. The round came to a close as Kumaru outperformed the champ. Massive round for the challenger again.
Round 3: Woodley lost both the rounds and needed to dig in deep to get this fight in his favour. The champion went for a big right but Usman ducked. Usman caught Woodley in a body lock yet again and continuously punched into Woodley's gut. Relentless!
The referee broke up the clinch but Usman kept pushing forward as usual. Another body lock and Usman continued with the body shots. Usman had landed over a 100 body strikes as the referee broke up the lock yet again.
Woodley had a moment when he momentarily tagged Usman with a right. Usman wasn't all that fazed as he continued to attack. Usman got into the clinch again and dished out punishment.
Round 4: Woodley's corner was done playing with him. They told him to go and do something big because he was down three rounds. It was still the same story as Usman pressurized and kept adding to the numbers.
Woodley almost got the Guillotine choke in but Usman wriggled his way out. Usman got right into Woodley's guard and landed a nice elbow from the top. It was a grappling clinic from Usman as he smashed his shoulders into Woodley's face into the cage. Pure dominance.
Both men got stood up again. Usman stunned Woodley with a nasty uppercut. What followed was a wild exchange. They traded huge shots. Rights, lefts, uppercuts, knees and what not!
Woodley showed the heart of a true champion as he hung in there for dear life. He got in a few good shots too but Usman got the better of the exchange as he almost got the job done.
Usman, though, may have gassed himself out.
Round 5: Woodley needed to go in for the kill as he was convincingly losing the fight. Woodley got in the standing choke but Usman looked alright.
Usman lifted Woodley up and dropped him down to the mat. Usman was back to where he was all throughout the fight as he continued to completely control the grappling exchanges.
From there on, Usman didn't even let Woodley up to his feet as he controlled the fight to perfection. A masterful performance from the challenger. Take a bow, Usman!
Result: Kumaru Usman def. Tyron Woodley via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45)
Woodley's Nigerian Nightmare just came true as UFC just got their first African Champion. The scorecards painted a perfect picture as Woodley got outclassed by a challenger who was on top of his game.
Usman gave an amazing post-fight interview as he admitted he that he may not be the best striker or the best pure wrestler in the world, but he is the best welterweight in the world when it came to mixing it up. He gave Woodley props and shared an emotional moment with his daughter.
It's true folks, Marty from Nebraska is the new king of the Welterweight division!