Kamaru Usman has been tapped as Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Tyron Woodley’s replacement in case the champ is forced to pull out of his UFC 228 title fight against Darren Till.
With so many last-minute issues affecting UFC main events recently, the promotion has elected to have a backup plan in the event of an unpredictable injury, ESPN reported Thursday. Usman (13-1) is coming off of the biggest win of his MMA career, defeating Demian Maia in May. “The Nigerian Nightmare” is on a 12-fight winning streak and remains undefeated in the UFC.
The UFC most recently dealt with a high-profile main event loss when Tony Ferguson and then initial replacement Max Holloway both were forced out of a UFC 223 lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Al Iaquinta, who was supposed to fight on the undercard, ultimately stepped up to fight Nurmagomedov, though Iaquinta was ineligible to win the title due to having weighed in at higher than the strict championship limit. The chaos caused quite the headache for the UFC.
If all goes as planned, Woodley is set to defend his welterweight title against Till at UFC 228 on Sept. 8 in Dallas.