The UFC has been split between putting together the big money fights versus the top contenders challenging the champions, especially with UFC star Conor McGregor in the mix.
Let’s look at McGregor’s case. “The Notorious” has not had a single fight in the lightweight division and had his last two fights at welterweight with his rivalry with Nate Diaz. Since unifying and winning the UFC featherweight title over Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in December of 2015, “The Notorious” has yet to defend his featherweight belt. The bout with Alvarez will be his third fight outside of the featherweight division but still maintains the status of champion.
Another champion who was given a lot of flack for calling out some big names to fight was newly crowned welterweight king Tyron Woodley. “The Chosen One” spoke recently with BJPenn.com’s Chris Taylor on a segment of Rapid Fire about “money fights” versus matchups based on rankings.
Woodley told Taylor that he is just going to put his nose down and run through every competitor that the UFC feeds him.
“That is the easiest way to take it. Because like I say, with our fans, we don’t get to deal with the same set of rules. They pick and choose when fights are ok. They pick and choose whether they want entertainment.
“With Conor, everything goes. Lately, everything has been entertainment. A lot of his fights don’t even make sense. But if it is me, or anybody else that calls for an ‘entertaining’ fight, then everybody cries and whines about ‘oh there is a clear number one contender’ and everything. Suddenly it goes back to being a sport.”
Taylor then asked Woodley “Why do you think Conor McGregor gets the benefit of the doubt with fans and is allowed to take super fights without having ever defended his featherweight belt?”
“I mean Conor is an entertainer but he is also a deliverer,” Woodley stated. “People can say what they want. I do not have an issue with Conor. Especially fighting on this same card, he may get a bouquet of roses. But Conor is actually a good fighter who just talks about what he expects to do. I think sometimes he talks it up so much that he has to live up to his own hype. It might actually work as a competitive advantage for him. Where he has to pump himself up and he has to get in to this alter ego or this character to be in the right mind frame in order to deliver. So yeah, I have no issue with him talking himself up or anything like that in regards to the fight because he actually goes out there and he fights his butt off. He gives up memorable moments in that octagon.”