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UFC 235: Kamaru Usman ends the reign of Tyron Woodley, becomes the UFC’s first African-born champion

Usman is now undefeated in the UFC, dethroning Woodley’s 900+ day reign.

For over 900 days, Tyron Woodley held onto the UFC Welterweight Title, becoming a champion the company could be proud of. He ranks up there with Georges St-Pierre, Matt Hughes and Pat Miletich as one of the best members of the division. In just a matter of moments, however, his run came to an end thanks to a dominant performance by Kamaru Usman.

After five easy rounds, Kamaru Usman (15-1) defeated Woodley (19-4-1) via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-45) to become the first African-born UFC Champion. The 31-year-old is now 10-0 in the UFC.

Throughout the entire bout, Usman used his strength and speed to outclass Woodley, who could do nothing to reciprocate. He landed punches and kicks in the clinch, and while Woodley had a choke in at one point couldn’t hold onto it.

The second and fourth round appeared to be a 10-8 score for Usman, using elbows to soften up Woodley. Woodley ended up getting a cut above the eye thanks to a few vicious blows by Usman.

At one point in the third, Usman held Woodley in the clinch and proceeded to hit a plethora of body shots by the cage. They were as brutal as you can imagine, and with each shot, you can see Woodley almost drop to the floor. Woodley tried a few guillotines tries in the fourth and fifth round, but could not immediately put it in all the way.

Throughout the bout referee Marc Goddard stopped the action due to the wrestling, practically saving Woodley in the bout. Usman’s wrestling ability was unstoppable and the ref wanted them to fight. While understandable on his part, Woodley wasn’t doing much to contribute.

Woodley was going for his fifth-consecutive title fight win. While his takedown defense is normally impeccable, he didn’t seem prepared. His legacy cannot be denied, however.

“First of all, let’s give it up for Tyron Woodley,” Usman stated after the fight. “This is a champion who has come in here and has dominated, and a lot of people hate on that man,” Usman said. “But when you talk about the greatest welterweights of all time, that man has to be in the conversation.”

Up next for Usman? According to Brett Okamoto, Colby Covington, the interim Welterweight Champion. The two have been at each other’s throats over the past few months, and it escalated this past week. As for Woodley? he would like to run the fight back, but nothing is for sure. He may end up fighting in a contender bout way down the line.

On a night where the UFC’s stars shined the brightest, Kamaru Usman proved to the world just how valuable he can be.

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel Yanofsky

Daniel is a Managing Editor at DoubleGSports.com, and covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). He is also the lead New York Mets writer. When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a Sunday podcast, The Main Event.
Daniel Yanofsky
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