Tyron Woodley Can Become Major Player In Welterweight Ranks With A Win At UFC 171

By Rick LaFitte
Tyron Woodley battles Jake Shields
Tom Szczerbowski USA TODAY Sports

Tyron Woodley gets the chance to shake up the UFC’s welterweight division if he can knock off the dangerous Carlos Condit at UFC 171 in Dallas. Woodley ended up getting the prime opportunity against “The Natural Born Killer” after Nick Diaz turned down the fight. “The Chosen One” is currently ranked No. 11 in the 170 pound division but will find himself in title contention if he can spoil Condit’s title hopes.

The organization has already indicated that a victory this weekend for the No. 2 ranked Condit will get him a title shot against the winner of the welterweight title fight between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. That decision makes perfect sense as Condit is an all-action destroyer with a remarkable 27 knockout and submission finishes in his 29 career victories. Condit defeated Diaz to win an interim title at UFC 143 and gave former champion Georges St.Pierre all he could handle in losing a five-round decision at UFC 154. He’s netted five Fight Night bonuses during his UFC career.

Condit’s last appearance was at Fight Night 27 against Martin Kampmann where he avenged a prior decision loss by stopping “The Hitman” in the fourth round of a bloody and highly entertaining main event. Condit has the perfect combination for a fighter being able to finish an opponent while also possessing a granite chin. He’s never been knocked out in his 36 fight career.

Woodley is fresh off a one round blitzing of Josh Koscheck at UFC 167. He’s had two remarkable first-round knockout wins inside the Octagon sandwiched around a disappointing decision loss at the hands of Jake Shields at UFC 161. Woodley has tremendous power and a strong wrestling background that he should look to utilize against the dangerous Condit. It would be quite the accomplishment for “T-Wood” if he were to knock off an opponent of Condit’s pedigree and would have him on the verge of his own title opportunity.

An action encounter is pretty much a guarantee whenever Condit is involved. The veteran knows what is at stake as a title shot is there for the taking with a win. As for Woodley, he will need to produce the best performance of his career to pass a very stiff test that he aggressively lobbied for. It’s a matchup where the result will have serious ramifications for the entire division in the UFC’s brand new welterweight era.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports

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