xIt’s been quite a year for the All-American Tyron Woodley.
The former Strikeforce title challenger made his anticipated UFC debut back in February at UFC 156, where he scored an ultra impressive first round knockout over MMA veteran Jay Hieron.
The devastating finish, which was under forty seconds, sent a big message through the 170lb division and erased memories of his previous loss to former Strikeforce champ Nate Marquardt.
The win set the All-American Woodley up for a high profile bout with former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields at UFC 161. The fight was very uneventful and Shields took home a gritty split decision win. All talk of “The Chosen One” being a possible contender died out with that fight.
That was until he got back in the win column against Josh Koscheck in November. Koscheck was, and still is, regarded as a top fighter despite coming off a knockout loss to Lawler at UFC 157. Many thought Koscheck would have the edge and grind out a decision in what would be a relatively close fight fight. However, that was not the case.
“T-Wood” knocked out “Kos” in the first round with a devastating right hook, which earned him “Knockout of the Night”. The win rocketed Woodley back up the 170lb. rankings. Things got even more interesting for Woodley earlier this month when long time reining champion Georges St-Pierre announced his retirement from the sport.
Things have just got even sweeter for “The Chosen One” as Dana White granted his Christmas wish and signed him up to replace Matt Brown and fight no.2 ranked Carlos Condit at UFC 171, in the co-main event.
With GSP retiring earlier this month, Woodley has emerged as a possible title challenger for 2014. A win over Condit in Dallas at UFC 171 could put Woodley next in line for a title shot. With all the other top ranked fighters, bar Shields, coming off losses that seems very likely?
Woodley’s combination of powerful hands and high level wrestling will no doubt provide a challenge for anyone who stands in front off him.
Could Tyron Woodley possibly be the dark horse of the welterweight devision?