Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has outlined that he is suffering from chronic arthritis after pulling out of his Robbie Lawler rematch.
Woodley was forced to withdraw from the proposed main event at UFC on ESPN in June after suffering a hand injury which now appears to be much worse than was first thought.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Woodley explained that will remain sidelined until the promotion can find a state athletic commission that will allow him to get cortisone shots 10 days out from his next appearance, which could require an exemption.
“I have chronic arthritis in my joint right here,” said Woodley after visiting a hand specialist. “There are three joints that enable me to grab and grip. One has chronic arthritis and this one has severe arthritis.
“There are a few different ways to heal and fix the problem permanently but it’s something you wouldn’t do if you were still active because it limits your range of motion and grip.
“The temporary fix is to rehab it, get it stronger, get the flexibility to start to grab and grip, then 10 days before the fight let’s try to do a cortisone shot. I have the UFC checking on cities and states that allow you to have cortisone shots.”
Woodley has not fought since losing his 170lb title to Kamaru Usman in March and outlined that he is targetting a return on August’s Anaheim card.
The Chosen One had released a statement last week outlining that making sure his hand could recover properly was his main priority after pulling out of the Lawler rematch but there’s no doubt the extent of Woodley’s injury is a blow.
It had been expected that the UFC would keep Lawler as the main event of the June 29th card with a host of fighters clamouring to replace Woodley on social media but they opted instead to take the heavyweight clash between Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos off UFC 239 and make that the new showcase bout.