The stars were supposed to battle in the main event of the June 29th, UFC Minneapolis card. But, as noted above, recently word came that Woodley was injured and that the fight wasn’t happening.
Since then, Woodley spoke with fans via an Instagram  chat session. While discussing his decision to drop out from the rematch, the powerful wrestler said this (quote via MMA Junkie):
“A lot of questions about my hand and me not fighting June 29. I don’t know if they’re going to reschedule me and Robbie for a different date or if they’re going to actually get him a new opponent, but I got to make sure I protect my hand. That’s where I make the money with. I have to be confident throwing my moneymaker, my right hand. I toughed it through the last fight, guys, a lot of (expletive) tape. This time around I’ve got to be honest with myself. The gripping, the grabbing, the posting, the pushing off, the strength, the snapping – all of the above was a little bit more difficult. I’m going to make sure I put myself in position to be successful. At the end of the day, I got to get that belt back. I’ve got to put myself in the best position.”
When you consider that Woodley has dealt with hand issues in the past, this decision is pretty understandable. Especially when you punch as hard as Woodley does…
Case in point, when Lawler and Woodley fought back in 2016, the latter quickly put him away with a booming right. Since then, Woodley has gone 3-1-1, while Lawler has gone 1-2.
Now it will be interesting to see if the UFC finds a replacement for Woodley. The current co-headliner is Sergio Pettis vs. Ricardo Ramos.