UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is afraid he might be drinking that Tyron Woodley Kool-Aid again, which has me convinced “The Nigerian Nightmare” is too young to remember Jonestown, where fruit-flavored sugar water served a vehicle for mass suicide.
“The one thing that I feel like I’m being pulled in again is Tyron is giving me this ‘I’m back, I’m back, I’m back,’” Usman said in the wake of last weekend’s UFC Vegas 9 fight card. “So I’m starting to drink the Kool-Aid again. Maybe the Tyron Woodley of old is back.”
Despite two straight losses in which Woodley looked more frozen than “Chosen,” the former 170-pound titleholder insists he’s in a new place both physically and mentally in time for his Colby Covington main event later this month in “Sin City.”
“As far as style matchups, I think this is probably one of the worst stylistic matchups for him after coming off back-to-back fights with guys that love kind of pressure him,” Usman said (via MMA Fighting). “Guys that can grapple as well and guys that kind of throw some volume.”
Woodley (19-5-1), who turned 38 back in April, dropped his strap to Usman in the UFC 235 co-main event back in early 2019, then turned in a similarly uninspired performance against Gilbert Burns at UFC on ESPN 9 roughly one year later.
“On the flipside, this is a tremendous matchup for Tyron Woodley because Tyron Woodley is a specialist when it comes to dealing with southpaws,” Usman said. “He knows how to angle off, to kind of guide them into that big right hand that he has.”
Woodley and Covington headline UFC Vegas 11 on Sept. 19 at APEX.