Tyron Woodley, Hector Lombard call for next welterweight title shot after UFC 171 victories

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

DALLAS -- Less than an hour after Johny Hendricks claimed the UFC's vacant interim welterweight title with a thrilling victory over Robbie Lawler at UFC 171, a line of challengers were already calling out his name.

Chief among them was Tyron Woodley, the former Strikeforce bruiser who finished the division's No. 2 ranked fighter, Carlos Condit, via a grisly knee injury midway through the second round of UFC 171's co-main event.

Woodley, who only got the opportunity to fight "The Natural Born Killer" after campaigning heavily on Twitter, initially damaged Condit's knee during a second-round takedown attempt, then exacerbated the injury with a powerful fight-ending leg kick. Though afterward, Woodley emphasized that the manner in which the fight ended should not be counted against him.

"I think it takes nothing away," Woodley said flatly. "I think (it's like) if you break somebody's arm in an armbar, if you choke them out and they don't tap. It wasn't like he came in with a preexisting injury. It came from a double leg takedown. I saw that he was hurt and I went for the finish. I think I was dominating the fight, and that's a tough guy to dominate in general.

"I went out there, I asked for this fight because I didn't think I was going to lose it. You guys are starting to realize that I'm in this to be a world champion, and I went after the top guy. Everybody was so quiet, and I blew [Dana White's] phone up until he probably couldn't take it anymore, because I want to be a world champion. I think that alone, that persistence, won me a world title shot.

"Me and Johny Hendricks got some unfinished business from the Big 12 days of wrestling," Woodley added. "I would love to get my hands on him, and I think it's a crazy fight."

Aside from Woodley, two additional welterweights stated their case for a title shot on Saturday night.

Nick Diaz, the popular Stockton native and former Strikeforce champion, announced to reporters backstage that he was ready to return to the UFC after his latest short-lived retirement and would like to fight Hendricks next.

More impressive, though, was former Bellator champion Hector Lombard, who made a statement by thoroughly dismantling Jake Shields en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win on UFC 171's pay-per-view card.

"We all know that Jake Shields always makes a fight awkward for everyone," Lombard said.

"I feel that I dominated every single area, on the floor, I took him down so many times, stand up. ... I wanted to prove that I have all the skills because I'm known for just going and standing up with guys. But I proved that I was better at wrestling and I was not scared at all of his ground game."

Lombard initially abstained from calling for a title shot after his win. But once Hendricks arrived to the night's post-fight press conference with his newly minted belt in tow, Lombard wasted little time making his intentions known.

"I would like to take that, please," he said, pointing to Hendricks' golden strap. "I beat the guy that said that he had the right to fight for the belt because he had four wins. Now that Robbie is out of the picture, I believe that I can be a tough challenge."

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