Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is doing what he needs to do in order to position himself to reclaim the 170-pound title.
If that happens to include time off to nurse a nagging hand injury then so be it. “Chosen One” will just have to put his rematch with Robbie Lawler at UFC on ESPN 3 this June on ice. It’s an untimely withdrawal, but if Woodley can’t fight, or even train, at full strength then he’s going to take his foot off the pedal.
Woodley recently detailed the hand injury that knocked him out of UFC on ESPN 3 via his IG Live:
A lot of questions about my hand and me not fighting June 29. I don’t know if they’re going to reschedule me and Robbie for a different date or if they’re going to actually get him a new opponent, but I got to make sure I protect my hand. That’s where I make the money with. I have to be confident throwing my moneymaker, my right hand. I toughed it through the last fight, guys, a lot of (expletive) tape. This time around I’ve got to be honest with myself. The gripping, the grabbing, the posting, the pushing off, the strength, the snapping – all of the above was a little bit more difficult. I’m going to make sure I put myself in position to be successful. At the end of the day, I got to get that belt back. I’ve got to put myself in the best position.”
Woodley, who defeated Lawler via knockout back at UFC 201 to claim the UFC’s welterweight championship, relinquished his title in a lopsided decision loss Kamaru Usman back at UFC 235 this past March. While Woodley’s UFC resume doesn’t quite stack up to legendary welterweight fighter Georges St-Pierre, “Chosen One” remains one of the best 170-pound fighters of all time. Hopefully he’s able to nurse this ongoing hand injury and come back better than ever in pursuit of a rematch with Usman.
UFC on ESPN 3 is scheduled to take place on June 29 live on ESPN from inside Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lawler is expected to stay on the card and remain part of the main event, although no replacement for Woodley has been named at this time.
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