Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been forced out of his UFC on ESPN 3 rematch with fellow former champ Robbie Lawler. The two were set to headline the June 29 event in Minneapolis.
Woodley suffered a hand injury that forced him to withdraw from the bout. MMAWeekly.com’s Damon Martin confirmed the injury with sources close to the fight following an initial report by ESPN.
The UFC is reportedly attempting to find a replacement to keep Lawler on the UFC Minneapolis fight card.
Woodley (19-4-1) held the UFC welterweight championship for more than two years, defending it four times.
He was sidelined for the last part of 2018 and early 2019 following surgery to repair the dislocation of his thumb on his right hand. It is not clear if that injury had any relation to his current hand injury.
Woodley, 37, returned to the Octagon at UFC 235 on March 2, but lost the welterweight belt to Kamaru Usman via unanimous decision in the night’s co-main event.
TRENDING > Daniel Cormier on Stipe Miocic rematch: ‘This one’s going to break him’
The fight with Lawler was to be a rematch stemming from their first match-up at UFC 201 in July of 2016. Woodley knocked Lawler out in the first round to become the UFC welterweight champion.
Following Woodley’s withdrawal from UFC on ESPN 3, several other fighters immediately posted on social media calling for the fight. Top fighters such as Darren Till, Santiago Ponzinibbio, and Elizeu Capoeira all called for the fight with Lawler.