Ex-UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has seen a return to the Octagon delayed once again. According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Woodley has been forced to pull out of his scheduled main event rematch with Robbie Lawler on the UFC Fight Night card in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 29 due to a hand injury. Just last year, Woodley underwent hand surgery to repair a dislocated thumb.
Woodley (19-4-1), who is scheduled to visit a specialist next week, was looking to get back into title contention after seeing his three-fight win streak come to an end at the hands of Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March while losing the welterweight title in the process. The first step in that journey was a rematch against Lawler, whom Woodley defeated to earn the 170-pound title with a first-round knockout victory at UFC 201 in July 2016. The 37-year-old will now have to wait an unknown amount of time before he can attempt to reclaim the crown.
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As for Lawler (28-13), Okamoto reports that UFC officials are currently in search of a replacement to keep “Ruthless” on the Minneapolis card. The former welterweight champion is coming off a first-round submission loss to the debuting Ben Askren in what was one of the wildest opening rounds we’ve seen in quite some time, ending in controversy over whether Lawler was actually unconscious on the mat.
More UFC news, rumors
- Sage Northcutt’s ONE Championship debut on Friday did not go as planned, to say the least. The ex-UFC star competed in his first bout for the promotion on its “Enter the Dragon” card in Singapore, and it was nearly over before you could bat an eye. Northcutt was brutally knocked out just 29 seconds into the first round by 37-year-old kickboxing specialist Cosmo Alexandre, eating a vicious right hook and face-planting to the canvas immediately. The loss snaps a three-fight winning streak for Northcutt.
- Sticking with the ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon card, the main event saw the crowning of a new lightweight champion as 20-year-old Christian Lee stopped 155-pound champion Shinya Aoki via TKO in the second round. Now, interestingly enough, ONE Championship can boast a brother-sister championship combination with Lee’s sister Angela currently the reigning women’s strawweight champion for the promotion.
- The main event for this weekend’s UFC on ESPN+ 10 card in Rochester, New York is official. Both Rafael Dos Anjos (170.4) and Kevin Lee (170.2) made weight on Friday morning for their scheduled welterweight bout — though you have to admit, it would have been more fun if RDA had taken Lee up on his suggestion to both come in at 165 pounds, wouldn’t it?