Tyron Woodley Targets August Return from Chronic Hand Issue, Robbie Lawler Still Ready for Rematch

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is targeting an August return to the Octagon after getting a diagnosis on his constant hand problems that will hopefully allow him to fight sooner rather than later.

Tyron Woodley
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is on the mend after visiting a hand specialist to deal with the injury that knocked him out of his upcoming fight against Robbie Lawler in June.

According to Woodley, the latest flare up in his thumb stems more from an onging issue rather than a new injury but he just wasn’t at 100-percent to compete as early as June.

“I went to go see a hand specialist earlier this week and the hand specialist basically looked at my x-ray and looked at the MRI and he said I have chronic arthritis in my joint right here [in the thumb],” Woodley revealed when speaking to TMZ. “There’s three joints that allow me to grab and grip. One has chronic arthritis and this one has severe arthritis. So he said there’s a few different ways to heal and fix the problem permanently but it’s something you wouldn’t do if you’re still active and fighting cause it limits your range of motion and grip.

“He said the temporary fix is to rehab it, get it stronger, get the flexibility where you can actually start to grab and grip and then 10 days before a fight, let’s try and do a cortisone shot. So I have the UFC checking on dates and cities and states that actually accept, that allow you to have a cortisone shot.”

Cortisone shots are a common method to help relieve pain and inflammation in joints and it is routinely used to treat people suffering from arthritis.

USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) allows cortisone shots for athletes under their supervision so Woodley wouldn’t be in any danger of violating the UFC’s anti-doping policy but he may still need additional permission from the state athletic commission wherever he’s competing.

Woodley says that the flare up with his hand won’t keep him out of action long and he’s looking at the upcoming UFC 241 card in Anaheim as a potential landing spot for his return.

“I’m targeting maybe the August 17 card in Anaheim,” Woodley said. “I just want my belt back. There has to be a path to fighting somebody to fighting Kamaru [Usman].

“I feel I should have gotten an instant rematch, we saw that didn’t happen, what am I going to do? Cry over spilled milk? No, I put myself into position to have another opportunity and perform and fighters, fight fans and UFC, they remember performances. I’m just looking for the right fight.”

As for his opponent, Robbie Lawler’s team said on Friday that the former champion will definitely be ready for an August date and would happily face Woodley on that date.

The UFC hasn’t announced any plans for Woodley or Lawler after their fight in June was scrapped.