LAS VEGAS — In a stunning turn of events, Kamaru Usman manhandled Tyron Woodley to lift the welterweight title from him in a one-sided performance in the co-main event of UFC 235 on Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
Usman won by scores of 50-44 twice and 50-45 in a fight that wasn’t remotely competitive. Usman repeatedly took the one-time Missouri wrestling star down and held him, as Woodley could generate no offense.
There was no big right hands or any out-of-the-blue submissions. Woodley spent most of the night locked against the cage with Usman all over him.
With the win, Usman becomes the first UFC champion from Africa. He was born in Nigeria and moved to the U.S. when he was 8. He won a Division II wrestling championship at Nebraska-Kearney and was insistent he wouldn’t be outwrestled by the more pedigreed Woodley.
It was a magnificent performance, not helped by referee Marc Goddard, who repeatedly broke them up while they were grappling, which benefitted, at least in theory, Woodley.
In the end, though, he had no answers for Usman, who proclaimed his greatness in the cage.
“When it comes to mixing this s— up, I’m the best [expletive] welterweight on this planet,” an excited and emotional Usman said.
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