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UFC News: Tyron Woodley Hints At Moving Up To Middleweight By End Of 2019

Prathik J.
Published 15 Jan 2019, 14:30 IST
15 Jan 2019, 14:30 IST

Tyron Woodley
Tyron Woodley

What's the story?

Reigning UFC welterweight champion and proclaimed 'Chosen One,' Tyron Woodley, has hinted on moving up a weight class, by the end of the year 2019. Woodley will be looking to defend his 170-pound belt, come March 2nd, against a notable opponent in Kamaru Usman, who is coming in fresh out of a dominant unanimous decision victory over Brazil's own, Rafael dos Anjos, from The Ultimate Fighter 28 season finale.

In case you didn't know..

Ever since Tyron Woodley's championship defense against the young Darren Till, and Kamaru Usman's recent vigilance against Rafael dos Anjos, the welterweight division seems to be opening up exorbitantly.

Woodley has been a formidable UFC champion, with three successful title defenses under his belt in the UFC, thus far. Kamaru Usman, on the other hand, seems to be a serious contender for the title, with an impressive eight-fight win streak, so far, with the UFC.

In the past, Tyron Woodley has had a history of beating, who many may consider, top caliber middleweights in the current UFC roster. Former welterweights such as Kelvin Gastelum and Robbie Lawler have fallen prey to Tyron Woodley, previously, before moving up to the middleweight division. Although a 'double-champion' status may still be far from his reach, a middleweight prospect seems to be very much on the cards for 'The Chosen One.'

The heart of the matter

In his appearance on The Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, this past Monday, welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, was seen teasing fight fans with the possibility of moving up to the 185-pound division. Woodley said:

"People in the middleweight division, they need to watch out too. I might slide up on one of y'all by the end of the year. Wipe out the division clean at welterweight and go up there and either beat Kelvin Gastelum up again or take out Robert Whittaker. They are both welterweights anyways. They just don't know how to cut weight.”

Woodley will be facing the durable Kamaru Usman for his upcoming title defense at UFC 235, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Woodley also confessed to TMZ Sports that after beating Kamaru Usman, long-time off-field rival, Colby Covington, would ideally be next in line.

"Kamaru Usman? He's not ready for me yet," Woodley said. "He's not mature enough in the sport yet to be able to withstand what I'm going to bring at him."
"What's Kamaru going to do, take me down? He's going to out-strike me? He's going to punch harder than me? He's going to out-strategize me with fight IQ? He's a version of myself five years ago.”

What's next?

Scaling up to compete in the UFC middleweight division may prove to be a monumental feat for Tyron Woodley, but nothing seems to be impossible with regards to the current trend of UFC fighters shifting divisions in the fight game.

With that being said, do you think Tyron Woodley has the physical and mental prowess to compete in a stacked 185-pound division? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 21:00 IST
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