Tyron Woodley Responds to Kamaru Usman’s Message to Him Following Win in Chile
Tyron Woodley doesn’t feel like his welterweight title is in too much danger after watching Kamaru Usman dish out a dominant performance over Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night in Chile on Saturday.
Outside of getting locked up in a clinch position with Maia in the opening round, Usman remained in control with better striking and unflappable takedown defense to earn a unanimous decision victory in the five round main event.
Afterwards, Usman sent a message to Woodley, who happened to be serving as an analyst during the broadcast on FS1.
“Hey, champ: You know my social media hasn’t changed since I got in the game five years ago. Welterweight, and I’m coming for that gold strap,” Usman said addressing the camera. “And with that performance, even with some handicaps, no one can deny that I’m definitely top five right now in the division.”
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) May 20, 2018
For his part, Woodley could only roll his eyes at yet another contender claiming to be coming for his title but the reigning champion responded with a compliment and then a not so subtle reminder why the belt is around his waist.
“Kamaru Usman, congratulations. I don’t ever want to take away the credit. Demian Maia is a game opponent,” Woodley said in response. “Me as the champion, I’m always welcoming any challenger. Just make it to that point, I’ll be on the other side of the Octagon.
“I did see a couple things that if you do against me, you might end up waking up with the smelling salt. But hey, hats off to you. Great job. Just being real.”
While he didn’t directly address Woodley’s comments during the post fight press conference a few minutes later, Usman did criticize the champion’s performance against the same opponent when they met last year.
“I just dominated [Demian Maia] better than Tyron Woodley,” Usman said. “Tyron ran from him the whole fight. Tyron threw the fewest strikes in a championship fight ever. I just went out and I dominated the guy from start to finish.”
As much as Usman wants to fight for the title, there’s almost no chance that will happen with an interim champion about to be crowned at UFC 225 in the fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington.
The winner of that fight will then move onto unify the belts with Woodley once he’s healthy enough to return to action following shoulder surgery.
If the fight against Woodley isn’t available, Usman specifically mentioned the winner of the upcoming bout between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Darren Till as the other opponent he’d be interested in facing next.