Recently, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley controversially stated that he was the most hated champion in the UFC, and had been treated worse than any other UFC champion.
Woodley explained why he believed race played a key factor in the unfair treatment, noting that former UFC pound for pound kingpin Jon Jones was quickly vilified by the media following his legal troubles outside the cage. In addition, Woodley pointed out that UFC flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves.
Stephen Thompson disagrees, and he spoke to Submission Radio to explain why:
“The guy hasn’t been champion long enough to even feel that way, I believe. I mean, to me it seems like the most hated champion would be (Michael) Bisping, you know what I mean? For me, he (Woodley) hasn’t defended the title like he’s supposed to. So automatically getting that rematch and just looking for other fighters and riding on other people’s coattails, maybe have given him or the fans a bad taste in their mouth. But when it comes to race, that’s stupid. I mean, that’s just stupid. One of the highest paid athletes in the UFC is Jon Jones, and pretty much whatever happened to him, he did to himself. And Anderson Silva on the other hand too. So I don’t get it. You know what, it kind of irritates me cause he’s focused on that when he should be focusing more on the fight at hand, because I don’t want to step out there March 4th and face off against a distracted Tyron Woodley. I fight for the glory and I want to fight the best when I step out there March 4th and I want him to be focused on it. So that’s my two cents on that, and I just think it’s ridiculous. But on the other hand, I don’t see what goes on from his point of view when he’s negotiating with the UFC. Of course, I’m not there with him during those negotiations or things like that. So maybe, I don’t know, I’m missing something or maybe he sees something different just because I’m not there during his negotiations and chats with the UFC. But from my side, for him to pull that, it’s not necessary.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/27/2017.