Rafael dos Anjos and Tyron Woodley have gone back and forth since Nate Diaz strutted back into fight talks with his signature scowling face. It’s easy to see why, of course. Dos Anjos wants the title shot promised to him, while Tyron Woodley ‘just wants to make money’ according to the former UFC lightweight champion. …But isn’t that what prize fighting is about? Not to dos Anjos it is not. To be fair, Tyron Woodley was willing to fight Diaz at a catchweight with no title on the line, but dos Anjos thinks either that that this match-up is against all logic.
“Tyron Woodley is only thinking about money. Of course that everybody wants to make money and needs money, but he’s running away from logic. He’s trying to force his hand and making a fight that makes no sense. [Nate Diaz] can’t fight in this weight class and Woodley is trying to force this fight. He was willing to fight Nate Diaz while injured, needing to undergo surgery, because he knows it’s an easy fight and he can win without one arm. I think it’s wrong to hold the entire division like this. He’s trying to get an easy fight and stay on his TV and radio shows as a champion, he wants this status.”
@TWooodley man up and stop talk about fight that make no sense, everyone know that I’m the real contender. You want to fight a guy that has never beat a real welterweight in his whole life. Shame on you…
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 7, 2018
“He doesn’t want to fight someone motivated as myself, someone on a roll. He wants to fight someone that will bring him money. Nate Diaz is more popular than me. I’ve achieved more things than him in my career, but Nate Diaz is more popular, so if this fight happens now it’s not about who deserves it more, but who’s more popular. He definitely wants an easier fight. […] Tyron Woodley and I in Brazil would be great, but the guy doesn’t want to fight me here, in his home, imagine in Rio,” dos Anjos said. “He would never accept something like that as a champion. And I don’t even think he would be healthy to fight in May — unless the UFC pays him very well, because that’s what he’s really going after now: money.” — Rafael dos Anjos speaking to MMA Fighting.
No doubt Rafael dos Anjos brings up legit grievances with Tyron Woodley’s line of thinking, but the thing is that no matter how much Dana White protests in the media, this is the UFC’s line of thinking as well. It’s evident with their three superfights lined up to draw in huge numbers this year. Woodley wants money because MMA fighters and even MMA champions aren’t getting paid adequately, meanwhile the UFC has seen time and time again that fighters defending their title against number one contenders doesn’t draw unless you’re Jon Jones, Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey. Dos Anjos definitely deserves the title shot, the question is if the UFC is willing to book it.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/9/2018.