Over the last year, the UFC has been criticized on several occasions for booking fights that focus more on entertainment than they do on legitimate ranking-based matchmaking.
Former featherweight champion Conor McGregor‘s immediate lightweight title shot against Eddie Alvarez, for example, was initially criticized. So too was former bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey‘s recent title shot against reigning champ Amanda Nunes. And then of course, there’s the latest example: former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s immediate middleweight title shot against Michael Bisping. All of these matchups have generated backlash for awarding the title shot to a fighter that has not necessarily earned the top contender spot.
According to UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, the reason for this is pretty simple. In the modern era of MMA, the most valuable fighters are the ones who can not only fight, but also speak and dress well. Woodley explained this reality on UFC Tonight (via MMAWeekly.com).
“Now, it is a bit much of the entertainment world. If you’ve got a dope suit on, if you can talk a lot of crap, that might warrant you a title shot faster than someone else.”
“When I was coming up fighting, obviously, I fought the top guys. I feel like I had to really earn my way to the top,” he continued. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to be able to do both. You have to live up to what you say, have the great performances, and be an entertainer. We know the rules as fighters. We know what we’re up against. You know you have to entertain… I think it’s silly for fighters to complain and not try to be that person as well.”
What do you think of these comments from UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/27/2017.