The UFC welterweight champion of the world makes his return at UFC 228 on September 8. And in case his opponent can’t fight, a backup is on standby.
The champion Tyron Woodley will look to defend his title against Darren Till in UFC 228’s main event. And a big question heading into this fight is ‘can Till make weight?’ as he missed for his last time out against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
However, if Till gets injured and can’t go, fellow top-ranked welterweight contender, Kamaru Usman will be the backup fighter to fill in for either man.
In the situation that this is how things end up unfolding, Woodley told Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show today that he won’t be accepting the fight with Usman.
“Me and Usman will fight at some point in time, and I’m with it. I’m with it. I’m with fighting him, I’m with fighting Mike Perry, all these dudes I respect. I like a person who brings true skill sets to the table and is a true fighter. I’m with it all day. But I’m not going to fight [Usman] on no 24-hours notice.
I’ve been training for a six-foot-three striker, a southpaw. Not a five-foot-ten poor stand-up. Negative. I don’t do what I do the best because I wing sh*t. I train, I prepare, I strategize. I break my opponent down to a molecule and I drown them. I leave them empty, I take away all their best gifts, and then I snipe them. I’m not going to switch it up in five minutes.”
For Woodley, this will be his fight since UFC 214 in July 2017 when he defeated Demian Maia via unanimous decision.
The win was Woodley’s second successful title defense since winning the title in July 2016 by knocking out Robbie Lawler.
Usman’s last victory also happens to have come over Maia by unanimous decision as the two met in May as the headliner of the UFC’s debut in Chile.
But as the champion, Woodley believes that he deserves better than such a short notice proposition.
“I’m a world champion. I deserve proper notice. I deserve proper time to prepare and train for a world title that I worked so hard for. I’m not going to step in. I’m not that guy. Go grab f*cking [Donald] ‘Cowboy’ [Cerrone]. I’m a professional, and I’m a champion. If [Usman] wants to fight me, it’s going to be on a full training camp. And I would gladly take him up on that offer.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/27/2018