UFC 235’s Co-Main Event Offers Value With Champ Tyron Woodley

Sunday, February 24, 2019 4:35 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019 4:35 PM UTC

Tyron Woodley is defending his title against rising star and wrestler Kamaru Usman and I will bet that Woodley retains his belt.


Record: 12-11-0 for +2.62 units

Tyron Woodley vs Kamaru Usman

Saturday, March 2, 11:30 p.m. EST
Free UFC Pick: Tyron Woodley
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Saturday’s UFC Prague main event saw Thiago Santos come through for us in a big way. He played a very measured game which is very unlike his usual style and waited patiently for Jan to make a mistake. In Round 3 Thiago made Jan pay for getting just a little too relaxed by giving him a canvas nap and bringing home out play of the night!

Moving on to UFC 235 we have the most stacked card of 2019 so far. UFC 236 is starting to stack up nicely, but for now UFC 235 is setting the bar. We have former champion Cody Garbrandt on the card, Ben Askren is making his long awaited UFC debut against former champion Robbie Lawler, rising stars Jonny Walker and Zabit Magomedsharipov are both facing known names in Misha Cirkunov and Jeremy Stephens respectively, Ultimate Fighter Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez returns, and this is all topped off by a double title headliner with Woodley and Usman followed by Jon Jones vs Anthony Smith. It's hard to ask for more than this as a fight fan and there is plenty of value on this card.

We will break down the main event a little closer to fight time, so for today’s analysis and pick we will focus on the co-main event.

One of the coolest things that Tyron Woodley does is his Champ Camp series where you can get a behind the scenes look of the champ's life, his training, and the state of his mind.

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Kamaru Usman is a wrestling specialist and had a 53-3 record in high school. He went to the University of Nebraska where he captured the 2010 NCAA Division II title. He parlayed that into his pro fighting career where won The Ultimate Fighter American Top Team vs. The Blackzillians and now he is an impressive 14-1 with his only loss coming in just his second pro fight back in 2013. Usman won the Ultimate Fighter Finale via submission and since then has gone undefeated in the UFC defeating nine opponents, but here is where we can start breaking things down.

In nine UFC fights, Usman has only 2 finishes: 1 by KO and 1 by submission in his UFC debut. He submitted Hayder Hassan in the TUF Finale and since the Hayder has gone on to be dropped from the UFC. Sergio Moraes got KOd by Usman in 2017 and does have an impressive UFC record but he has not been fighting top UFC competition and he has 3 split decision victories and a draw. At the top level of MMA Usman simply is not a well rounded fighter. He is still a wrestler and against low level competition he has enough raw power to get a KO or a submission but when he steps up the wrestling game is all he has to offer. His competition level is another big question. His only two notable victories were Rafael Dos Anjos and Demian Maia.

Granted those are two solid names, however RDA is a 155er who has moved up to 170 and seen some success even though he is too small for the division and his achilles heel has ALWAYS been strong wrestlers. The same can be said for Demian Maia. While he is a legitimate 170 pounder he is a submission specialist and if he cannot get on your back he is not likely to win and also struggles with wrestlers and dropped a decision loss to all 3 Usman, Covington, and Woodley. Winning those two fights doesn't tell us anything we don't already know about Usman.

Woodley has proven time and time again that he is one of the most well rounded mixed martial artists in the world. He cannot be beaten by a specialist fighter who only has one aspect of mixed martial arts in his game. Woodley is a better wrestler than Usman and if Usman cannot get the take down that means he is forced to stand with Woodley. If Usman is forced to stand with Woodley it's going to be a short night for him. If Woodley puts Usman on his back its going to be a short night. Woodley will show Usman that he has a lot to learn and while he might be a future champion he won't be touching gold while Tyron Woodley is fighting. I think Woodley gets this fight done inside the distance, but there are no props out yet so we will take him straight.

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