Tyron Woodley will make his next welterweight title defense against Kamaru Usman at UFC 235.
ESPN was first to report the booking. Both fighters have signed bout agreements, according to the report. UFC 235 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 2, with Woodley vs. Usman likely to be the co-main event. A light heavyweight championship tilt pitting Jon Jones against Anthony Smith has been targeted for the evening’s headliner.
Usman surpassed former interim 170-pound king Colby Covington, according to ESPN, because of his willingness to fight anyone in the division on short notice. Covington, who claimed the interim strap with a victory over Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225, was later stripped of the belt when he was unable to face Woodley at UFC 228. The promotion was reportedly frustrated with Covington for refusing to fight anyone other than Woodley while the champion recovered from hand surgery following UFC 228.
Woodley is unbeaten in his last seven bouts, which includes four successful title defenses. In his most recent appearance, “The Chosen One” submitted Darren Till in the second round at UFC 228.
Usman has won his last 13 professional fights, including nine straight within the Las Vegas-based promotion. He last appeared at “The Ultimate Fighter 28” finale, where he took a dominant five-round verdict over former lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos.