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Tyron Woodley explains having to lend his belt out to Conor McGregor at UFC 205

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Heading into UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden, the word "history" was all over the promotional effort. First time to New York City...biggest pay-per-view ever...Conor McGregor chasing a second title. It was all in play.

Yet if there was a subplot to the whole event, it was in the tension that started to kick up between welterweight champion Tyron Woodly and McGregor, who showcased brilliantly in his fight with Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight belt. Woodley shot video on his phone of McGregor's chair-and-mink antics during the Thursday press release, and posted it to his social media feed. The next morning, at the official weigh-ins, a video caught McGregor and Woodley staring at each other at the water table.

Things got even weirder when McGregor, upon beating Alvarez, demanded a second belt be brought out, and the UFC had to borrow Woodley's. The 34-year-old Woodley, who had just retained that belt with a majority draw against Stephen Thompson, didn't seem overly thrilled to help out.

On Monday, Woodley said when the UFC came back to borrow his belt he was doing a favorite UFC employee a solid more than he was McGregor.

"I'm a good businessman," Woodley said. "I love [UFC Vice President of Athlete Development] Reed Harris. Reed Harris is the man. He's always shot me straight, good or bad, and I love Reed Harris.

"Reed is the one who that, his hands grabbed the belt, took it to the cage...Reed Harris is the man. I love Reed Harris."

Woodley, who had just spent five rounds fighting Stephen Thompson and wrapping his head around the majority draw, said the timing of the whole thing was a little off.

"I was a little frustrated that at that current moment that they needed it, because I needed to take my pictures — you know the pictures they take behind the stage if you win?" he said. "I wasn't able to do those pictures because they wanted me to take it without the belt. And it would be a cold day in hell before I'd take any other picture without the belt or come out of the blue corner again. I didn't get a chance to take those pictures because that moment was going on."

Woodley did say that the UFC thanked him for being a big enough person to lend out his belt to somebody who he'd been feuding with online.

"The told me how great of an individual I was that I would be willing to do something like that," he said. "Especially after all the wolf tickets that was sold by Conor McGregor, that I would be willing to ever do something like that, and that it just shows the kind of man and character I am. But I've been making some calls, and hopefully they financially express their gratitude as well."

And as for that same Irishman, who has flirted with the idea of trying to win a third belt at welterweight? To that, Woodley says there's no real bad blood there, but bring it on.

"This is the thing," he said during Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I know everybody wants to beef on Conor. There's no beef.

"If you do something, especially in this day and age where you build up this image, you have to be okay with the fact that it might be recorded, and it might be put out. Anything I do, good or bad, I have to own it. So if you want to come out there looking like Cruella di Vil, in a Gucci coat with a tag on there and parading around in a ridiculous manner, you've got to be ready to be video-taped.

"And if you're picking up a chair towards where I'm at, and you're about to throw it, I'm going to video tape it and I might just put it up on YouTube. He was upset that he was made to look bad, I guess. Because I said this is what you do when you said, 'don't hold me back' when you really mean 'hold me back.' As I've said many, many times, I've been in many street fights, and I've seen many street fights. There's no man that's going to stop a pro fighter from getting to another fighter, if he really wants to get there. That's just facts. He could have jab-stepped and shook him up a bit and made his way around, if he really wanted to get to him. So he was upset about that, and I didn't think nothing. It thought it was more of a joke than anything. And if would have posted that about me, I would have laughed. I would have said something to him and laughed about it."

Woodley said that his posting the video may have rubbed McGregor the wrong way.

"I figured he was a little salty about that," he said. "Then backstage, every camera that came close to him his volume started to increase. He miraculously always had somebody to hold him back, every single time. He's always got two or three people right there. It's almost like he just grabs their wrists and puts it around his waist, like, 'oh get off me, don't hold me back.'"

McGregor's immediate future is unknown. He said he came out of the Alvarez fight without a scratch, and would be ready to go. Yet, he also said that he wants an ownership stake in the UFC, and that — now that he knows he's going to have a baby in May — he may want to take a cool down period.

Complicating things further is the new dilemma of holding two titles. McGregor could fight Jose Aldo, who has earned his rematch with a victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200. He could finish the trilogy with Nate Diaz, which is a lucrative fight for the UFC. He could fight Khabib Nurmagomedov — who destroyed Michael Johnson on Saturday and demanded his title shot — or Tony Ferguson, who defeated Rafael dos Anjos last week.

Or, he could attempt to take history one step further and try for Woodley's belt. And if that's the case, Woodley isn't going to say no.

"It is what it is man," he said. "The guy's a featherweight, lightweight. How many of you guys actually want to see me fight him? If you guys want to see me fight him, let's make it happen. If me beating him is going to be, 'oh, my god he's the welterweight and he should be able to beat him,' it's going to make me look bad.

"I really don't have a beef with him. I actually don't know him as a person, but I respect him as a businessman. I respect what he's done for the sport. He's a big part of why the event was so big at MSG. You can never take that away from him. He's a two-division champion. Nobody's ever done it. He's created history, and those are things that are important to him and his legacy. They're not as important to me, so I can't knock him for that. I want to do the best thing for myself and my career, I want to be a legend in this game. I want to be remembered as the best welterweight to ever put their two ashy feet on the Octagon canvas. That's what I want to be remembered as. It's not so much about having a card and screaming my name on there, wearing these python shoes...that's not what's important to me. That's his goal and it's important to him, and he's doing, and I'm doing what I do.

"If the powers that be at the UFC, and the fans, if they want to see us scrap? I mean, just send me a bout agreement, I'm in."

The other factor is of course the rest of the welterweight division. After the Thompson draw on Saturday, UFC president Dana White said that an immediate rematch made the most sense. There's also Demian Maia out there, who has established himself as the next contender. In other words, if McGregor jumps up he'd effectively be holding up three divisions.

Ultimately, Woodley thinks it'll be up to McGregor to decide

"I mean, if he wants the fight they're going to make the fight happen," he said. "He's at the point right now where they're going to do what he wants to do. I'm not holding out and waiting for a fight with him. There's a lot of guys. You know, Demian Maia is a worthy opponent. Some people believe that Wonderboy deserves a rematch."