FIVE FIGHTERS VOLUNTEERED TO REPLACE TYRON WOODLEY AGAINST ROBBIE LAWLER
Yesterday’s main news was Tyron Woodley (19-4-1) dropping out of his rematch with Robbie Lawler (28-13, 1NC). UFC welterweight fighters were supposed to meet in the main card of the event in Minnesota but yesterday news came that Woodley injured his arm and would not be able to recover fully by the rematch with Lawler that is set for June 29.
The news didn’t come unnoticed by many welterweights who are eager to replace Woodley in the main fight. Darren Till was the first who volunteered but it wasn’t long before almost half of the top 15 welterweight division became contenders.
Brazilian puncher Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (21-5) who is considered one of the most underestimated fighters in 170 lbs, presents his winning streak that is, by the way, impressive – seven wins straight.
“Seven straight wins. My last three opponents didn’t last enough to get me a bonus, but I know Robbie will,” the Brazilian tweeted.
During his winning streak dos Santos got three Fight of the Night bonuses for his fights with Omari Akhmedov, Lyman Good, and Max Griffin. He made quite a show in his last three fights by knocking out Sean Strickland with a spinning wheel kick, knocking out Luigi Vendramini with a flying knee, and making Curtis Millender submit by a rear-naked choke.
Another fighter with seven straight wins offered himself as a candidate. The British fighter Leon Edwards (17-3) who takes 11th position in the welterweight ranking hopes this fight will be his starting point towards the title shot.
“I know a guy on a 7-fight win streak. That’s down for the tear up gimme that fight!” Edwards tweeted.
Argentinian Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-3) also stepped in. The no.9 in the ranking promised to give a show and knock Lawler out. He said it in his interview to Brazilian reporter Guilherme Cruz.
“This fight makes total sense. We’ll put on an exciting fight. I deserve to face a former champion, and I’m ready. If they give me this spot, I’ll go in there and knock him out. He always puts on exciting fights, so fans will go crazy. This fight will make history.”
Like the previous two candidates, Santiago Ponzinibbio also has seven straight wins. That’s another prove that the welterweight division is one of the most competitive and interesting divisions, if not the most. Ponzinibbio defeated such fighters as Mike Perry and Gunnar Nelson, and he knocked out Neil Magny in his last fight.
One more contender is 29-year-old Anthony Rocco Martin (16-4). The former lightweight gains momentum and has won four fights already after coming to 170 lbs., defeating Brazilian Sergio Moraes in his last bout.
“UFC, I’m ready to take Woodley spot. What a homecoming this would be!” Martin tweeted.
Despite Anthony Rocco Martin’s desire to replace Woodley, he already has a fight set against Demian Maia for the same card in Minnesota on June 29.
Impressive and charismatic crowd puller Mike Perry also couldn’t ignore the news. “Platinum” has already called for Robbie Lawler in 2017 after his KO win against Alex Reyes. After that fight Perry posted a fragment of his post-fight interview where he dropped a broad hint that he wants a fight against former champion.
“He gets to pick. He’s got good options. It would be an honor to head butt the legend I mean butt heads with Lawler.” Perry wrote in the description of the video.
Last time Mike Perry fought in April at UFC on ESPN 3. “Platinum” defeated Brazilian Alex Oliveira by unanimous decision, closing his loss to Donald Cerrone.
As you can see, Robbie Lawler does have good options to choose from and each of them is attractive in its way. What option will UFC and Lawler choose? It’s anyone’s guess. We’ll have to wait.