Saturday’s UFC 201 event was filled with gruesome finishes and exciting fights, all the way up to the main event where we saw a new champion being crowned, after Tyron Woodley landed his thunderous right hand that started the sequence that ultimately took out ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler in the first round, and thereby ending Lawler’s title reign that started Nov 16, 2013.
In Tyron’s post-fight win interview with the #1 welterweight contender and UFConFOX panelist, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Woodley was asked;
”That was a first round finish, and I know you are not injured, what are the chances that we get it on in November ,my friend?”
Woodley quickly gave his two cents on what he thought about ‘Wonderboy’s’ ask.
”Well, this is what I think, you know I think you initially wanted to fight Robbie Lawler, and you get the opportunity to fight Robbie Lawler, because who I want to fight now is, I think Nick Diaz comes off suspension in two days, he is a money-fight, I’ve been in this game, I’m a OG, I’ve been here for a while, I want to make the big dough, so, if he wants to fight August, with his brother, Nate Diaz, I think me and him can show down at the event, I’m uninjured, August, I’m ready to go, [UFC]202, let’s make that money, I think he has deserved it, I think he has put enough butts in the seat, he deserves to make that pay day, so let’s go get it.”
Nick Diaz suspension for his last fight where he tested positive for marijuana against Anderson Silva is now done, as Woodley has stated, however, Nick hasn’t won a fight in almost five years, since Oct 2011 when he beat the brakes off an already declining and undersized welterweight, BJ Penn.
Woodley also expressed interest in facing the now retired, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who hasn’t fought in more than two and a half years. November of 2013 was when GSP won his last fight as a champion against Johny Hendricks , by a very close split-decision, to later announce his ‘retirement’ from the sport.
At the age of 34, one can perhaps better understand Woodley’s time-sensitive agenda of wanting fights with the biggest bucks involved. But just as he is allowed to express his wishes, the backlash from MMA fans and fellow fighters for what could easily be perceived as conservative match-making from the champion is to be expected with a such a statement.
From a financial point of view, Woodley isn’t wrong – the biggest money fights for him are not in the top five of the division, or top fifteen, for that matter.
So, if Woodley wants to pick and choose his opponents, he will do so at the cost of the respect from fellow fighters and fans who prefer a champion that does not avoid being tested against the current best contenders the division has to offer.
If we think about it from Woodley’s perspective for a moment, who can blame a father of four for wanting to provide for his family with the most profitable fight he can get his hands on now as a champion?
However, that doesn’t change the facts.
Tyron Woodley is trying to duck the most deserving and highest ranked contenders in the welterweight division as of right now.
But let’s be honest here at the end, wouldn’t you do the same for your family?