A hand injury has forced Tyron Woodley to withdraw from his welterweight bout against Robbie Lawler next month, according to ESPN sources.
The former UFC champion and Lawler were scheduled to headline UFC Fight Night in Minneapolis on June 29. It was to be a rematch of the 2016 welterweight title fight that Woodley won with a first-round knockout.
Per ESPN, the UFC is looking for a replacement to keep Lawler (28-13) on the card.
Woodley, 37, had surgery on his right hand last year for a dislocated thumb prior to UFC 230. He is reportedly seeing a hand specialist next week and there is no timeframe for his return to the octagon.
Woodley lost welterweight title in March
Woodley is coming off the loss of his 170-pound welterweight title to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March. The fighter struggled to remain competitive and couldn’t garner any offense, losing by scores of 50-44 twice and 50-45.
Usman became the first UFC champion from Africa.
At the time, Woodley held the longest active streak of title defenses dating back to his win over Lawler. He went 3-0-1 before losing the title and his chance at the second-most title defenses in UFC welterweight history.
Lawler coming off loss to UFC newbie
Lawler, 37, is also coming off a loss. He got off to a quick start against Ben Askren at UFC 235 and pummeled him in the early seconds. But Askren, in his UFC debut after years of back-and-forth with Dana White, came back to win the bout. White called it a “bad stoppage” and would like to see the two fight again.
Lawler missed all of 2018 because of ACL surgery. His final fight of 2017 was a loss by unanimous decision.
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