Shortly after his steamrolling of long-time welterweight contender Neil Magny, former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos began calling for a scrap with reigning welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
“This division’s wide open; all the top-five, top-six guys in this division have lost to the champion or to the last challenger, which was Demian Maia,” dos Anjos told reporters after UFC 215 (h/t MMAJunkie.com). “(Stephen) Thompson lost twice to Woodley already. I’m the new blood in this division. I was getting ready to fight Woodley if Maia didn’t take the fight, but he ended up taking the fight. But I was getting ready for it, so here I am.”
“One thing I can be sure, is [Woodley and I] are going to fight,” dos Anjos added. “I’m not going to let him walk around, and I’m going to make sure I push the pace. I’m not saying I will not use my strategy. Of course I will. But I will walk forward. I have confidence in me, in my cardio, and I’m going to make him work.”
It didn’t take long for Tyron Woodley to respond to these comments from dos Anjos. Apparently, he’s got his sights set on the winner of UFC 217’s Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre middleweight title fight, and he’s not even sure dos Anjos deserves a shot yet.
“Well, I’ve got a Gucci belt you can have,” Woodley said during the UFC 215 post-event show. “I’ve got a Louis Vuitton belt you can have, but the welterweight gold, the 14 pounds, brother, it’s going to be a long time before I give that up.”
“I didn’t take (the callout) personally,” Woodley continued. “All I’m saying is there are a lot of guys in my division. They always put them in front of me, and everyone thinks they have the solution to beat me. But I think I’m the most well-rounded fighter. I punch the hardest in the UFC of all the fighters. And he’s a great fighter. He’s a former world champion. I do think one or two more fights in the division, with a great performance like he had this evening, we will see him on the other side of the octagon. At that point, we’ll be ready to roll.”
“[But] I want to fight at middleweight,” Woodley concluded. “So, I’m thinking about taking a trip up to middleweight.”
Do you think Rafael dos Anjos should get the next crack at Tyron Woodley?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/10/2017.