Last night, in the main event of UFC 209, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley scored a majority decision win over challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who he first fought to a majority draw back in November. While Woodley’s win was extremely important for his career, however, it was not particularly thrilling.
The slow nature of Woodley and Thompson’s welterweight title rematch generated ample criticism from many notable members of the MMA community, including UFC President Dana White. Woodley, unsurprisingly, was not especially pleased with these comments from the UFC boss. The champ fired back at the UFC 209 post-fight press conference, defending his strategy in the fight, and challenging White to step into the cage and fight Thompson.
“I want to see Dana get in there and fight Wonderboy,” Woodley told the media (via BloodyElbow.com). “Watch everyone else that walked in there. Watch Patrick Cote, Robert Whittaker, watch all these guys that thought they were just going to bulldoze him, and they disrespected his style. I did the opposite. I embraced his style. I brought in the world champion, currently in his weight division. I brought in Sage Northcutt, tons of guys who are in that actual sport fighting. You can’t disrespect that style.”
“If you think you have it figured out, kicks and punches come from weird angles, and you find yourself with out this [belt], and you find yourself knocked out,” he continued. “I know you guys love to see the knockouts, gore, blood — and I love watching it as well, but guess what, I love being world champion, and sometimes it’s not the sexiest fight.”
Woodley then commented on the boos that occurred during his fight with Thompson.
“That’s okay [if the fans didn’t like the fight],” he said. “The fans can also tap in, I’ll pause the fight, and they’ll enter the cage. I’ll exit the cage, and they can show me how to do better. It’s so easy to say it from that seat you’re sitting in. But when you’re fighting a world class fighter who has finished so many opponents, so many knockouts, so many tricks up his sleeve. Sometimes you have to be patient and find that moment.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/5/2017.