On March 2, in the co-main event of UFC 235, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will attempt a fifth-straight defense of his title opposite surging contender Kamaru Usman.
Having fought both Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman in the recent past, Brazilian MMA legend Demian Maia has unique insight into this matchup.
Speaking after his first-round submission victory over Lyman Good at UFC Fortaleza over the weekend, Maia discussed this fight, and even offered a prediction for it. He says he’s giving the edge to Tyron Woodley, but he expects to see Kamaru Usman wearing gold in the future.
“It’s an extremely tough fight to call,” Maia said (via MMAjunkie). “To be coherent with what I’ve said, I believe that Woodley, for all that he’s shown, is a slight favorite. But I have a feeling, I don’t know why – I mean, I do know why, because I fought him. (Usman) is a very well-rounded guy. Aggressive at the right times, but he also knows how to apply the rules. I think Usman will still be champion. I don’t know if it’s now, or within one year, I believe he will be champion some day.”
Demian Maia fought Tyron Woodley in summer of 2016, coming up short after five rounds that unfurled mostly on the feet. He battled Kamaru Usman in his second most recent fight, which went down in May of 2018, also coming up short via unanimous decision. His losses to Woodley and Usman were interspersed by a decision loss to another tough wrestler in Colby Covington. His defeat of Lyman Good served as a sorely needed rebound from this trio of losses.
What do you think of Demian Maia’s prediction for the UFC 235 title fight between Kamaru Usman and Tyron Woodley?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/5/2019.