Tyron Woodley More Interested in Fighting Rory MacDonald Than Demian Maia


Fresh off a vicious knockout of Jay Hieron in his UFC debut on Saturday, Tyron Woodley is hoping for a busy year in the Octagon.

In fact, he’s already told UFC President Dana White that he’ll be available if someone drops out of the March 16 showdown between Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald. It’s MacDonald in particular that Woodley has his eye on.

“I want to fight him,” Woodley told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “If anything happens with Carlos Condit, God forbid, or something happens with that fight, I already told Dana White.”

It’s not that Woodley thinks the highly touted MacDonald is a slouch. Rather, now is the time to beat him, in Woodley’s view.

“Nobody’s calling him out for a reason,” Woodley said. “Because he’s freaking unreal. But if you wait, you think he’s going to stop getting better? In two years, this kid’s probably going to be one of the best fighters in the game. I’d rather knock his butt off now like I knocked off [Tarec Saffiedine’s] just before he got the Strikeforce gold.”

There has also been some discussion among fans of a matchup between Woodley and fellow UFC 156 winner Demian Maia, who outgrappled and outpointed Jon Fitch on Saturday. Woodley isn’t too interested, though.

“Everybody’s been Tweeting about it,” he said. “I don’t mind the fight. If he fights me the way he fought Fitch, then it’s not that dangerous of a fight. He just took him down and jumped on his back.”

Maia’s ability to take down Fitch didn’t surprise or impress Woodley, who said the canvas was “super slippery.”

“There was almost no traction and no way to defend,” Woodley said. “When [Maia] got on [Fitch’s] back, he just had no answer for it. I think Demian Maia’s tough. He just didn’t really impress me very much. I think if you match us up, it’s going to be a boring fight and we’re both going to get hella flak. I would rather fight [Nick] Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Condit. I would rather fight one of those guys, to be honest. They’re going to bring out the fight. They’re going to make me fight harder.”

Regardless of whom he fights next, Woodley believes he’ll eventually end up at the top.

“I’m not running from trying to earn it,” he said. “I’m not running from taking the fights. I’ll get there. I think definitely my talent level is definitely top 10. I think my thirst and hunger wants to fight the top five.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:02:24).

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