Tyron Woodley set for July return to the Octagon

The UFC welterweight champion is expected to headline UFC 213 as part of International Fight Week

BY Cian Roche 11:48 Friday 28 April 2017, 11:48 28 Apr 2017

Image: Jason Silva/Zuma Press/PA Images

UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley looks set for a return to the Octagon this July after posting a video on social media.

The Ferguson native is widely expected to headline UFC 213 as part of International Fight Week, one of the UFC's marquee cards.

While no official announcement has been made by the organisation, it appears he may defend his 170lbs strap against either Demian Maia or Nick Diaz.

"As you guys have heard, champ camp just kicked off," he said in a video for FOX PROcast. "I can’t release who it is yet but your boy’s going to be fighting in July. 

"So stay tuned for the details on that."

Maia has been climbing the welterweight ranks over the past 18 months and faces Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211 in May. 

Robbie Lawler takes on rising 170lbs star Donald Cerrone at UFC 213, which rules them both out of a title shot. Should the winner of Maia and Masvidal be awarded a title shot against Woodley, they would face just a two month turnaround for the fight.

Others suspect that Diaz, who is returning from suspension, will be given a title shot.

Having previously been rumoured to fight at UFC 209, Woodley has now closed the book on his rivalry with Stephen Thompson to defend his title elsewhere.

Another top 10 contender includes Iceland's Gunnar Nelson, who beat Alan Jouban in a headline bout at UFC London in March.

At the time, Nelson told Newstalk.com he 'wasn't impressed' by Woodley and Thompson's second fight at UFC 209 at the start of March.

"I wasn’t that impressed to be honest," he said. "I believe I can go in with these guys and beat them. They’re both tough fighters. But I believe I have something there that could deal with them both."

Outside of the fighting world, Woodley has also been busy filming 'Escape Plan 2' with Sylvester Stallone.

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