Former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit will face Tyron Woodley at UFC 171.
Condit was initially scheduled to face Matt Brown at UFC on Fox 9 on December 14, but Brown was forced to withdraw due to a back injury. The 32-year-old confirmed that he has herniated two discs in his lower back, and would be unable to fight. Instead of giving Condit a replacement opponent, he was pulled from the card.
UFC president Dana White said he offered the match to Nick Diaz, who turned it down Saturday evening. The last time Diaz and Condit fought was at UFC 143 in February 2012; Condit won the interim title match by unanimous decision. Tyron Woodley reportedly asked White for the opportunity to face Condit, but the boss initially refused. The Strikeforce veteran’s persistence eventually paid off.
Woodley is 2 for 2 in his last four fights after beginning his career with 10 consecutive victories. Both of Woodley’s last two victories came by first-round KO — the 31-year-old knocked at Jay Hieron at 0:36 in the first round of at UFC 156 in February, and Josh Koscheck at 4:38 in the first round at UFC 167 last month.
Woodley lost to Nate Marquardt by KO at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Kennedy in July 2012, and to Jake Shields by split decision at UFC 161 in June.
Carlos Condit is also 2 for 2 in his last four fights. After defeating Nick Diaz at UFC 143, the 29-year-old suffered back-to-back unanimous decision losses to George St-Pierre at UFC 154 in November 2012 and Johny Hendricks at UFC 158 in March. He rebounded with a TKO victory over Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27 in August. The bout earned Fight of the Night, with both men taking home a $50,000 bonus.
UFC 171 will be held March 15, 2014 in Dallas. The card was initially supposed to be headlined by a lightweight title match between champion Jon Jones and Glover Teixeira, but after welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced his leave of absence, Dana White announced that Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler would fight for the vacated 170-pound title in the main event. Jones vs. Teixeira has been moved to UFC 172.