Usman dethrones Woodley in dominant decision

LAS VEGAS -- UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman once famously admitted he went only "30 percent" in a 2018 bout. There was nothing 30 percent about Saturday night's fight.

Usman (15-1) claimed the UFC welterweight title in a dominant decision against Tyron Woodley, outscoring the three-time defending champion on judges' scorecards 50-44, 50-44 and 50-45.

Woodley (19-4-1) offered virtually nothing offensively, and he spent the majority of the fight either on his back or pressed against the fence. According to UFC Stats, Woodley landed just 60 total strikes to a whopping 336 for Usman.

"I'll be honest, I might not be the best striker or best wrestler in the world," Usman said. "But when it comes to mixing this s--- up, I'm the best f---ing welterweight on the planet right now."

Usman's first title defense will come against Colby Covington. No date or venue has been set.

Usman said he was relishing the opportunity to fight Covington.

"I want to f--- that guy up so bad. I can't be in a room with that guy. I just can't," Usman said. "I can't wait to be healed up and really get to put my hands on him. That's gonna be one I'm gonna enjoy, brutalizing him."

Originally from Nigeria and now fighting out of south Florida, Usman owned Saturday night's fight from start to finish to become the first African-born champion in UFC. He took Woodley down in the opening round and, after Woodley managed to work back to his feet, peppered him with knees and punches in the clinch.

Woodley's game plan and body language suggested defeat early. His corner implored him to turn it around between the third and fourth rounds. Longtime coach Din Thomas begged Woodley to bite down on his mouthpiece and try to turn the tide, but Woodley remained on autopilot.

The 36-year-old admitted as much after the loss, adding he hopes UFC will grant him an immediate rematch.

"Kamaru came out and brought it," Woodley said. "It felt like a bad dream. You want to throw punches, you see opportunities, but you don't take them. He came out prepared and had a great game plan. Really heavy on top. Hat's off to him. I have no excuses. I was ready for this fight. Hopefully, we can run it back."

Usman's best round of the fight was the fourth. He hurt Woodley with uppercuts near the fence and came close to finishing him. The victory improved Usman's UFC record to 10-0. Woodley suffered his first loss since 2014.