UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is fresh off his controversial majority decision win over Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson at UFC 209, which marked his first successful title defense after his first fight with Thompson was scored a majority draw.
Now, Woodley has his sights set on a July return to the Octagon, however the champ is struggling to find an opponent. While Demian Maia was initially expected to be the next challenger to Woodley’s belt, Maia then signed to fight Jorge Masvidal in a fight which has not happened yet.
Woodley spoke on UFC Unfiltered:
“There’s a lot of fighters who say, ‘I’ll fight anybody, anytime, anywhere,’ but they really don’t mean that. If Conor McGregor wanted to fight me, he has an opportunity to do so. So does (Michael) Bisping. So does Georges St-Pierre. So does Nick Diaz. So does Nate Diaz.”
“All these guys have a chance to step up to the plate. But ain’t nobody picked up the bat.”
“Unfortunately for Maia, he accepted the fight the week of me and Wonderboy’s fight. In my personal opinion, bad move. Wait and see how the fight went. If nobody came out of the fight hurt, a clear winner, not another draw, you’re already in a position to fight for a world title. Why would you put yourself up against the worst possible matchup outside of a title fight? Why would you put yourself in that position? I don’t want to call him stupid but damn that was stupid.”
Looking at the UFC welterweight rankings, it is highly likely that the winner of next weekend’s Demian Maia (#3) vs. Jorge Masvidal (#5) fight will be awarded the welterweight title fight against Tyron Woodley. That fight of course has all the makings of the ‘Fight of the Night’ given the stylistic matchup of the two men.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/3/2017.