As you know, Woodley took on Kamaru Usman at the event, and lost the fight via unanimous decision. Leading up to the fight, the consensus seemed to be that Usman would present a solid test for Woodley, but that the latter would likely win. Woodley was the betting lines favorite to win the contest.
But, as it turned out, Usman dominated the action with his wrestling and clinch game, so much so, he won the fight via scores of 50-45, 50-44, and 50-44. Not only that, but Usman outstruck Woodley by a jaw-dropping, 336 – 60 margin.
Well, after the devastating loss, Woodley said that although he felt off during the fight, he was fully prepared and ready to go (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I had too many moments in there. Kamaru, he came out there and won. I still believe I’m the greatest welterweight of all time, so now my path is getting back and getting that belt…”
“This is my path,” Woodley said. “I don’t like the path. I was in the locker room, confused as hell, ‘How could this happen? I was so ready, so prepared.’ But my path has never been easy. It’s just showing me that God wants me to come back, bounce back and show you guys the champion that I am. Dust this off and get that belt back.”
“I think, like I said before, as a champion that’s took out Robbie Lawler, who’s ‘Fight of the Year’ twice, defended his belt four times, I feel like a rematch – Colby’s kind of been sitting around. Sitting around, calling the shots. But if that’s what the organization wants to do, this in their organization. I’m blessed to be able to fight here, make a living and prove that I’m the best in the world.”
So, unless Woodley didn’t mean what he was saying here, it certainly looks like his confidence hasn’t been diminished. Now it will be really interesting to see whether Woodley can make another title run.
Based off what Woodley showcased in his championship reign, it would be foolish to write him off as a possible, repeat champ at this juncture. Usman does deserve a ton of praise for how he handled Woodley in the fight, but you would think a rematch would be more competitive, particularly if Woodley mixed in more takedown attempts and strikes.