Tyron Woodley is gearing up for his UFC 183 bout against Kelvin Gastelum. Prior to that bout however, the possibility of a bout between Woodley and his teammate Hector Lombard was widely discussed.
When Lombard booked his fight with Josh Burkman earlier this year, he informed media members that the reason he wasn’t fighting Woodley because Woodley was afraid of him.
Woodley responded to Lombard this week on The MMA Hour to discuss Lombard’s constant trash talking, saying:
“Look at my résumé. Look who I fought. I haven’t fought any scrubs. I’ve had a big break. I fought four times in a year. I fought in November, I fought in March, I fought in June, I fought in August, and I’m supposed to turn right back around and fight in November just because somebody wants to fight me?
“The reasons why I didn’t fight, I stayed true to those things. Me and somebody at American Top Team, whether this person is my best friend or whether this person is a complete idiot, I’m not going to fight that person unless it’s for a world title because we can fight somebody else in the division. The division is stacked.”
“I don’t think that freakin’ Kelvin Gastelum is anything less dangerous than Hector Lombard. I don’t think Carlos Condit was anything less dangerous than Hector Lombard, and I don’t think Rory MacDonald is any less skilled than Hector Lombard. So for someone to say that I’m scared, I’m ducking (him): I’ve never ducked a fight.”
“I’ve accepted fights within 10 minutes. ‘Hey Tyron, we want you to take Hector Lombard’s fight — Mr. Injured, and then all of a sudden healed — we want you to take his fight (at UFC Fight Night 48), and I said let me go train. I’m in Singapore on vacation, I go train for one hour, I get back on the phone and I miraculously saved a card. People don’t remember that. They’ve got a very short-term memory, they’re very conditional, so you’re right, at a certain point I was about to pop off, because I was getting pissed off.”
The bout Woodley is referring to at UFC Fight Night 48, is from August, when Woodley fought Dong Hyun Kim, stepping in on short notice for Lombard.
“If you know where I’m from and you know what I’ve been through in my life, I haven’t always been the person that I am right now. Me being scared of somebody is not very likely, so when people say those things you want to kinda get back at them,”
“So I just try to stay focused. I was hoping that when I got a new opponent and when he got a new opponent, maybe people would start focusing on their opponent. But obviously I’m on someone’s mind quite often and my name stays in the same sentence.”
What are your thoughts on teammate vs. teammate bouts, specifically a bout between Lombard and Woodley? Sound off in the comments section!