Kamaru Usman and Tyron Woodley’s UFC 235 welterweight title fight has now come and gone, with Usman unseating the long-time champion Woodley with a beautifully executed unanimous decision victory.
While the two welterweight talents exchanged quite a bit of trash talk before their fight, particularly at the first UFC 235 pre-fight press conference, it’s clear that there’s now plenty of respect between them.
Speaking on Instagram post-fight, Kamaru Usman sent a message of respect to the vanquished former champion.
“Champ [Tyron Woodley] you know it’s nothing but respect from me,” Usman wrote. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity. It was just my time.”
This comment from Usman generated a response from Woodley in the comments section, which was shared by British light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa on Twitter.
“You came out, stayed to the gameplan and executed,” a classy Woodley wrote. “Was your night. Enjoy it. Looking forward to running it back. God Bless you and your family.”
Woodley also commended Kamaru Usman on his adherence to his gameplan at the UFC 235 post-fight press conference.
“I said it a long time ago. If I had to give him an attribute, it’s his composure for a fighter who hasn’t fought a long time,” Woodley said. “He kept that composure, he stayed through the game plan, he took his time, he was patient. It just wasn’t a good night for me.”
From here, it looks as though Kamaru Usman can look forward to a championship grudge match with former interim champion Colby Covington. Woodley, meanwhile, will likely have to return to the drawing board, though he’s hoping he will be awarded a shot at redemption.
What do you think the future holds for these two top welterweights?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/3/2019.