UFC President Dana White has once taken a shot at UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, this time scolding the champ of turning down a fight in the main event of UFC 233 on January 26, and accusing him of avoiding fights.
“When is Woodley ready to fight anybody, ever? Tell me when,” White said at the UFC 231 post-fight press conference (transcript via Sherdog). “Yeah [he just fought three months ago], and it took us forever to get him to fight that fight. He never wants to fight. You want to be a world champion, but you don’t want to fight anybody. That’s a problem.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Tyron Woodley issued a response to this comment from Dana White. He says he never turned down at UFC 233 fight, but merely asked for some time to get a lingering hand injury checked out first.
“I never said no to Jan. 26. Let’s get that on record,” Woodley said on the show. “I just asked for a little more time so I can go to my doctor tomorrow in Pensacola, Florida, and have him evaluate my hand — the expert.”
Tyron Woodley added that he doesn’t want to risk losing to Colby Covington, most likely his next challenger, due to an injury.
“I don’t want to be remembered as a guy that lost a fight to Colby Covington, or anybody else, because he knew he wasn’t 100 percent, or wasn’t given the chance to at least go through the physician that performed the surgery on his hand to get his clearance,” he said.
“What a champion doesn’t do, he doesn’t go out there with an injury,” Woodley added. “He doesn’t go out there knowing he’s not 100 percent and rolls those dice, because if I go out there, and my hand’s not ready to go, and I fight Colby Covington, and I come up short that night, nobody’s going to care that my hand’s hurt. Colby Covington’s going to be, ‘Nah nah nah nah, ha ha ha ha ha,’ and he’ll never fight me again, because he knows the only chance he can beat me is if I’m lacking in one department. Outside of that, it’s virtually impossible for him to beat me.”
Whatever the case, Tyron Woodley assures that he’s stepped up for the UFC on many occasions. He also pointed out that White is willing to give other champions a “pass” for stretches of inactivity.
“I’ve stepped up for the UFC many, many, many times, but at one point you’ve got to start monitoring your legacy, monitoring your title run, monitoring the way you want to be remembered,” Woodley said. “I take pride in being the best welterweight in the world, and I don’t make money if I don’t fight. But I’m not going to just go out there and fight for money. I fight for legacy first, and money is gonna come with it.”
What do you think of this latest verbal skirmish between Tyron Woodley and Dana White?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/10/2018.