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What next for Tyron Woodley after UFC 228?

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Feature
443   //    09 Sep 2018, 11:37 IST

UFC 205 Press Conference
Tyron Woodley - Still the reigning, defending UFC Welterweight Champion

UFC 228 is over and what a show it was. It is one that will live long in the memory for Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley.

Woodley defeated the previously unbeaten Darren Till to retain his Championship with a submission victory in the second round, with a D'Arce choke. This came after Woodley had dropped Till with a fierce right hand.

Woodley's performance was hugely impressive. Aggressively coming out of the blocks, he immediately landed a knee and clinch before a perplexing break by the referee.

The domination continued in the second round as Woodley rained down punches on his much younger opponent. It was about the most convincing performance anyone could ever have expected.

For Woodley, the 36-year-old veteran of the sport, this was an emotional victory. After having not fought for a year and being roundly booed in his previous bout, this was a stunning return to form against a dangerous opponent.

So, what next?

After defeating a who's who of the UFC, during his five-year tenure in the company and wrapping up his fourth successful title defense, there appear to be few options for Woodley's next step.

Woodley's UFC journey began at UFC 156 with a memorable 36-second victory over Jay Hieron. Woodley's greatest moment under the UFC banner remains his UFC 201 victory over knockout specialist, Robbie Lawler wherein he won the Welterweight Championship that he successfully retained versus Till.

There really is no-one left to defeat in the division considering Woodley has already beaten it's biggest names, such as Lawler, Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson and Dong Hyun Kim.

There is only one name that jumps out for Woodley's next defense; Interim Welterweight Champion Colby Covington.

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Will it be Woodley vs Covington next?

Covington won the Interim belt in June versus Rafael dos Anjos with a convincing points victory. Covington has beaten many of the same names as Woodley and with only one loss on his resume, should be a formidable challenge. But after witnessing his decimation of Till, who could bet against the Welterweight Champion?

Should Woodley defeat Covington, it's difficult to see who he could next line up against at Welterweight. It is conceivable that UFC could promote a super-fight between Woodley and Welterweight legend, George St. Pierre, should GSP choose to drop down to his favored weight from Middleweight.

UFC President, Dana White has already confirmed his desire for GSP to compete at Welterweight and a bout between GSP and Woodley would make a ton of sense and would undoubtedly be a major box office draw for the company.

GSP is tentatively scheduled to return to the Octagon before the end of the year. Should he win his next fight, then perhaps he will issue a challenge to the Welterweight Champion.

UFC 228 Woodley v Till
An emotional Woodley is victorious at UFC 228

Woodley could also potentially move up in weight to Middleweight and attempt to follow Daniel Cormier's lead and challenge to become a two-weight Champion. 

Really, who could bet against Woodley at this point? The 36-year-old has demonstrated he remains a force to be reckoned with in UFC and doesn't appear to be heading anywhere else anytime soon.

Woodley is here to stay and he is here to dominate.

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