One way or another, Kamaru Usman will be fighting for the welterweight title at UFC 235 on 2nd March in Las Vegas.
That’s the word from Dana White after it was revealed by Usman’s manager Ali Abdelaziz that he had signed a bout agreement for the event.
“Usman signed a bout agreement,” Abdelaziz told MMAjunkie. “We signed a contract. One hundred percent, Woodley is fighting Usman. Las Vegas. March 2.”
However, White later clarified that Usman will be fighting for the title regardless of whether Woodley is fit or not.
“That fight is happening or Usman vs. someone for the title,” White later told MMAjunkie.
Woodley had previously opted out of defending his title at UFC 233 in January due to a thumb injury, but it seems that the UFC’s patience is now running out with the welterweight kingpin and they are now looking to proceed one way or another at the top end of the 170lb division, though it’s not clear whether it would be for an interim belt if ‘T-Wood’ isn’t ready.
Woodley is currently riding a seven fight unbeaten stretch that includes five title defenses to date over the likes of Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia and Darren Till.
Meanwhile, Usman has made a big impression in the Octagon since winning TUF 21 in 2015 and has now amassed a formidable nine-fight winning streak, taking his overall career record to 14-1 in the process.
Along the way he’s defeated the likes of Sergio Moraes and Demian Maia, but it’s his latest dominant decision victory over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos that impressed the most and has propelled him above Colby Covington for a shot at the title.