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Tyron Woodley vs Kamaru Usman

Tyron Woodley VS Kamaru Usman

In which probably is the best fight that can be made in the welterweight división, The Chosen One and The Nigerian Nightmare collide for the welterweight strap. Tyron Woodley really needs no introduction. A standout collegiate wrestler, he became a 2 time All American for University of Missouri. Athletically speaking he truly is the chosen one. His outstanding physique allows him to use a power oriented wrestling style when he chooses to, while being almost impossible to take down; he is yet to be taken down in his UFC career. An underrated striker, sometimes too cerebral for his own good, he is a murderous puncher gifted with great speed and timing on his trademark pull counter right hand. He boasts the best knockdown per punch ratio in the whole UFC. Also a very competent Jiu Jitsu player, he recently received his black belt after submitting englishman Darren Till in his last tittle defense. Very heavy and agressive on top, he likes to pound away on his opponents slicing them with elbows if given the chance. He has been able to adapt his game through the years to his strenghts and right now is a very complete fighter and still in his prime. He is no doubt the top dog and best fighter at 170 pounds, until proven otherwise.
Enter Kamaru Usman. Nigerian born, moved to the States at an early age. Also a standout collegiate wrestler at Nebraska University, Usman game is much more wrestling/grappling oriented tan Woodley´s. Even though steadily improving under the expert eye of Henry Hooft at the Blackzilians camp in South Florida, his striking still leaves some things to be desired and has some holes. It has not been a problem for Kamaru yet but will be in this spot no doubt. He is not the fastest striker and leaves openings. However, he has heavy hands. He is not the quintaessential explosive puncher but when he lands on people it has a visible effect on them and as the fight goes on, combined with Kamaru´s extremely high pace and grappling pressure, it wears them out. In his last outing he completely dominated former 155 kingpin Rafael Dos Anjos almost stopping him in the fifth round in a very impressive performance that saw him leapfrog former interim champion Colby Covington for the tittleshot.
How does Usman win this fight? The last man to defeat Woodley, Rory Macdonald, used a beautiful jab and distance management to outpoint Woodley over the course of 3 rounds. Since then nobody has been able to solve the puzzle. Usman has neither, and is kind of a one trick pony, even though a high level one. He would need to put the pace and pressure straight away on the champion to suck the fight out of him and either distance himself on points in the championship rounds or find a late stoppage. This is a very tall order for the Nigerian, as he is forced to shorten the distance on the champion to do it, making him vulnerable to Woodley´s hayemakers. Even if he achieved it consistently, it is an unknown if he would be able to take the champion down or even win the grappling exchanges. Do not be surprised if Usman ends on his back on a reactive takedown by Woodley or even worse, puts himself on a guillotine choke. The pick here is Tyron Woodley to retain his belt in dominant fashion, entering the argument of greatest welterweight of all time and moving forward to a fight with the aforementioned Covington. Woodley can win this fight in a lot of ways. I expect him to hurt Usman early in the fight and never let go from there. Woodley, Woodley inside the distance, Woodley by KO and Woodley in round 1 are all interesting plays for this fight when lines get released. At the moment of writing this oddsmakers have Woodley the favourite at (-185) with Usman sitting at (+160)