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Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman - 3/2/19 UFC 235 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman
Date & Time Saturday March 2, 2019, 11:30 PM (EST)
T-Mobile Arena
Paradise, Nevada
The Line
The Line: Woodley -181 / Usman +164 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman fight Saturday in UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena.

Tyron Woodley enters this fight with a 19-3-1 record and has won 37 percent of his fights by knockout. Woodley has won six of his last seven fights and is coming off a September win over Darren Till. Woodley is averaging 2.86 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Woodley is averaging 0.52 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Woodley is coming off his first submission victory since 2009, a bout he also landed 148 strikes and earned performance of the night honors. There’s not much to be said about Woodley that hasn’t already been mentioned, as he’s one of the best to ever step in the octagon and is about as balanced as any welterweight in the history of the sport. Woodley has a nasty standup game with extreme power in his hands and violent leg kicks that have dropped opponents. Woodley also has a background in wrestling, and while he hasn’t gone for a ton of takedowns under the UFC banner, he’s quite effective when he shoots and has a nasty ground and pound if a fight goes to the canvas. While Woodley is a fun watch, it’s his IQ that puts him above the rest of the field. Woodley rarely puts himself in danger, is smart defensively and has some of the best reaction speed you’ll find in the octagon. This will be Woodley’s sixth career fight in Las Vegas.

Kamaru Usman enters this fight with a 14-1 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by decision. Usman has won his last 13 fights and is coming off a November win over Rafael dos Anjos. Usman is averaging 3.93 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Usman is averaging 4.47 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 52 percent. Usman is coming off a performance of the night victory in which he landed 454 strikes and controlled the fight from start to finish with his takedowns. Usman is often considered a boring fighter who lacks a killer instinct and seven of his last eight fights have ended in decisions. However, Usman is a takedown machine with a deep wrestling background and a quality ground and pound attack. Usman is a really gifted athlete who usually gets the fight where he wants it and can spend majority of the fight from the top position where simply wears on his opponents. It may not always be sexy for the viewing audience, but there’s no denying Usman’s style has been effective up to this point. This will be Usman’s third career fight in Las Vegas.

I’m really not the guy who bashes other fighters and always give a reason to at least consider the underdog, but the fact you can get Woodley at this price is an absolute joke. There’s not much Usman can do with Woodley in the octagon, as he’s too one-dimensional of a fighter to put much scare into T-Wood. Usman is very limited with his striking game and needs a fight to go to the canvas to be effective. Woodley has an elite takedown defense and has enough pop to where most don’t try to be aggressive when coming in. If Usman is forced to fight Woodley for an extended period standing up, he's going to get knocked out. Simple. Make a mistake against Woodley, and it’s all over. If this fight does go to the ground, I’m assuming Woodley should have his bases covered with Din Thomas in his corner.

Bottom line is Woodley does just about everything better than Usman and is too smart of a fighter to lose to a one trick pony. Woodley at this price is an absolute steal.

Tyron Woodley -181

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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