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The UFC welterweight division was turned upside down over the weekend at UFC 235, as Kamaru Usman absolutely dominated Tyron Woodley to become the new titleholder at 170lbs. The chances had Usman listed as a sizeable underdog, but he proved the chances wrong as he completely dominated the battle from bell to bell and became the newest UFC welterweight champion. And now, we know exactly what the next challenge will be for the new champ.
In accordance with UFC president Dana White, Usman will not make his initial title defense at a rematch against Woodley. Rather, Usman will take on prior interim champ Colby Covington next. Over the weekend movie emerged of Covington tracking down White at a Las Vegas casino and demanding a title shot. According to both Covington and White, after the cameras have been switched off they had a fantastic discussion as grown men, and made amends to their public spat over Covington maybe not getting the title shot against Woodley.
White says that Covington will now take on Usman, and it’s probably this fight will take place sometime in the summer, perhaps at International Fight Week this July in Las Vegas, or maybe on the UFC’s pay-per-view card at Chicago in August. Usman didn’t take any harm at all in the Woodley fight, and Covington is healthful as well, therefore the UFC should not have any trouble getting this battle booked as soon as possible. Contemplating how stagnant the welterweight division was at times when Woodley was the champ, it is going to be nice to see Usman continue a hectic schedule as champ. At his current rate, he will hopefully fight three occasions this past year.
So far as the Usman vs. Covington struggle goes, it promises to get tremendous promotion leading up to it since both men are excellent talkers in the media. As for the matchup itself, it’s a struggle between two of the greatest wrestlers at 170lbs. If you had asked me to line this struggle a year ago, I’d have contributed Covington a small nod. But after seeing what Usman didn’t Woodley, you absolutely need to see Usman listed as a big favorite. At this point, I believe the oddsmakers would need to open up Usman as at least a 2-to-1 favorite, or more. What he did Woodley was absolutely pure domination, and as fantastic as Covington was himself in the UFC, Usman has looked even better.
UFC Wants Jones vs. Santos Next
Also, White reported the UFC wants to reserve Jon Jones against Thiago Santos for the UFC light heavyweight title . Jones had a bit of a scare in his fight against Anthony Smith because he nearly lost his belt caused by DQ due to an illegal knee using a downed opponent, however he ended up winning a lopsided decision at the conclusion of their five rounds. If asked by reporters if Jones could fight Brock Lesnar next, White reported the UFC would like to reserve Santos against Jones. Santos is coming off of a brilliant KO over Jan Blachowicz and has gone 3-0 as a light heavyweight, therefore he’s more than deserving of combating Jones. Hopefully that struggle is reserved soon, because Jones took no harm against Smith and it would be wonderful to see him stay on a busy scheduled in 2019 and struggle a few more times as well.
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