Woodley has been considered by many to have been one of the most boring promotion champions for nearly three years. Tyrone was accused of literally “stalling” rivals and unwillingness to arrange bright exchanges. Meanwhile, it is worth recalling that he became the champion of the league precisely thanks to his striking technique. It happened in 2016.
Then Tyrone took part in the main match of the evening at UFC 201 in Atlanta (Georgia, USA). His opponent was the then reigning champion of the promotion, Robbie Ruthless Lawler.
The ex-UFC champion was destroyed for the second time in a row. Looks like Woodley won’t be back. Video
Even in the fight with Kamaru Usman, the Chosen One did not look so helpless.
Woodley approached the main scrum of his career after four wins in five meetings, including over Carlos Condit and Calvin Gastelum.
As for Lawler, he has five victories in a row (three of them in title fights). By that time, Robbie had defeated rivals such as Johnny Hendrix and Carlos Condit, and also had an epic duel with Rory MacDonald.
In anticipation of the confrontation, both traditionally exchanged threats, and Woodley emphasized that he would not face Robbie the way all his previous rivals did. Already the first seconds of the fight showed that he was not cunning. Tyrone maneuvered perfectly, not giving the opponent an opportunity to aim. For the most part, he jerked Lawler without taking any active action.
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Ian brought the legend and is ready to fight for the belt, Aldu lost, but kept his position, and it is time for Usman to turn into a star – the deal after UFC 245.
And this tactic bore fruit within two minutes after the start of the fight. In one of the episodes, Tyrone caught the moment for a cool blow from the right, bringing his fist right to Lawler’s chin. He fell as if knocked down, and his finishing off was already a formality. It seemed that the referee was even a little late with the intervention.
Thus, Tyrone Woodley became the UFC welterweight champion. Not only that, he set a league record that is still unbeaten. The American became the author of the fastest knockout in title fights in the welterweight division. He spent 2 minutes and 12 seconds to defeat Lawler.
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Lawler is no longer the same after that crushing defeat. Yes, in the next fight he dealt with Donald Cerrone, but then four defeats in a row followed. Everyone agrees that it’s time for Robbie to retire.
Well, Woodley, after that triumph, spent four title defenses, until in March 2019 he met with Kamaru Usman. Tyrone lost to the Nigerian by unanimous decision and wanted to get revenge almost immediately, but injuries intervened. He managed to return to the octagon only in May 2020, but then he unexpectedly and in one wicket lost to Gilbert Burns. After that, there was immediately talk that Tyrone had passed the peak of his career and would not be the same again. This coming weekend is a defining moment for him. Either Woodley silences the skeptics, wins his first victory in two years and returns to the contenders for the title, or it becomes clear that he finally dropped out of the elite fighters of the division and is close to retirement. We will get answers to these questions very soon.