UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is currently gearing up for the third title defense of his reign at 170 pounds. ‘The Chosen One’ will be fighting submission expert Demian Maia this weekend at UFC 214, where he will look to once again defend his belt.
Ahead of the fight, Woodley spoke on the UFC 214 media conference call to discuss the fight, and why it won’t really do much to help cement his place as the GOAT if he were to defeat Maia on Saturday night.
“It’s one step, but it’s not a huge step to be honest,” Woodley said on Monday’s UFC 214 media conference call. “Obviously there’s a guy named Georges St-Pierre that’s out there talking about still fighting. There’s other welterweights like Nick Diaz, who is, in my opinion, a lineal top 10, top 5 welterweight. There’s other fights and other things that could make me the greatest welterweight.”
That quest to become the greatest welterweight of all time saw Woodley fight Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson twice in a row, as the pair fought to a majority draw at UFC 205 in November, before then once again having their highly anticipated rematch at UFC 209 in March, where Woodley won a majority decision.
In both fights, Woodley was criticized for a lack of aggressiveness in both fights, something he admits he could be a bit better at:
“The way that I go out there and fight guys, I could open up a little bit more and let guys have it,” Woodley said. “I possess all the tools and all the skills and explosiveness and conditioning. Sometimes it’s the way I fight opponents that could get me in that position. I think this will be a step forward. It won’t be a huge, long jump, but it will be a step forward. And I’m in it for the long haul. I’m not trying to win two or three fights and get out of this. I’m trying to grow as a champion and grow into a superstar.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/25/2017.