UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley doesn’t expect to get the fights he wants, so he’ll just beat whomever the UFC puts in front of him next.
Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC) expected his next fight might be again Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), but that possibility seemed to dim in the wake of his dominant, yet lackluster, title defense over Demian Maia (25-7 MMA, 19-7 UFC) at UFC 214, which took place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and aired on pay-per-view.
Prior to UFC 214, UFC President Dana White said the Woodley-Maia would next fight St-Pierre – because a fight between St-Pierre and UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) was no longer a possibility. However, the UFC exec changed his mind, as he announced after Saturday’s event.
“I have no reaction to that, my man,” Woodley said when informed of White’s decision. “The next person that steps in front of me, I’m going to beat them. That’s it.”
White later added the winner of Bisping vs. St-Pierre will face interim champ Robert Whittaker in a middleweight title-unifier.
Woodley said he expected St-Pierre would wind up fighting Bisping after the two talked up a fight on Bisping’s podcast, but he tried to put the possibility out of his mind.
“(St-Pierre) should have to fight me,” Woodley told MMAjunkie after the event. “He doesn’t want to fight me because I’m a better version of him.”
Bisping, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, made it clear he doesn’t want to see Woodley and St-Pierre step into the cage together.
“You’ve got Tyron Woodley, who just landed the least amount of significant strikes in a title fight, ever, and he’s going to fight a guy who likes to jab people and go, ‘I am not impressed by your performance,’ and try to take him down,” he said during FS1’s post-fight show (via Twitter). “I can’t wait to see that fight. Take my $60 dollars right now. I want to see one guy do nothing, and another guy do nothing. I want to see it. ‘I am not impressed. I am not buying this.'”
Woodley dominated Maia on the scorecards to retain his belt, but he was roundly booed over five rounds of lackluster action. Despite the crowd’s reaction, he defended his win and pointed to the 24 takedowns he denied the jiu-jitsu expert.
“I thought it was a great performance,” Woodley said. “You’ve got a guy on a seven-fight win streak, and he’s taken out all seven opponents, world-class guys.
“Twenty-four (takedowns) tried, 24 denied. We need to look at the different stats. This is my fourth title fights in 12 months. I’m thinking of how many top-class welterweights he would have been able to put on the ground. He was not able to do any of that with me.”
UFC commentator Joe Rogan pointed out Woodley’s low strike count, but the champ said he didn’t take offense.
“Fans, they want to see blood, they want to see cuts, and they want to see a back-and-forth exchange,” Woodley said. “You also have to recognize that I’m fighting specialists. Stephen Thompson, I’m not going to sit there and try to out-spin kick him. I’m not going to take down Demian Maia and prove it’s time for me to get a black belt.
“I felt like it was a very tactical fight. I felt like I did everything and stuck to the game plan. I walk around with my head up and the belt around my waist.”
Woodley said he fought despite tweaking his right shoulder with his preferred overhand in the first or second round, making him tentative for the rest of the fight.
“All these guys get the credit, and the champ doesn’t ever get the credit,” he said. “So guess what: I don’t expect it. I’ll just keep kicking ass, and I’ll be the greatest walking away.”view original article >>