Speaking with ESPN recently, the current champion says suggested that St-Pierre will avoid him by taking fights outside of the welterweight division because he is the most difficult match up for St-Pierre.
"Let's not get it twisted, part of the reason he left the sport was concussions,” said Woodley. “He doesn't seem to be extremely thrilled to get in there with somebody that can punch him to the point of getting dropped and suffering a concussion - an ugly, grueling fight.
"I'm a guy who makes that fight for him. I have the highest takedown defense in the entire welterweight division, maybe the second-highest on the UFC roster. It's going to be very hard for him to take me down and keep me down."
Woodley is set to defend his welterweight title against number one contender Stephen Thompson this weekend in the main event of UFC 209. The fight is a rematch of their controversial draw at UFC 205 last year. And though Woodley expects to retain his belt on Saturday, he says that St-Pierre is hoping he won’t because St-Pierre would be willing to fight Thompson because “Wonderboy” doesn’t pose the same threat for St-Pierre that Woodley does.
"I think they want to see how this fight plays out. If 'Wonderboy' comes up with a victory, I think we'll see him try to fight 'Wonderboy.'
"[Thompson] has a crazy style and he has knocked guys out, but how many times has he stood in the pocket and just thrown heavy leather [and] let them damn UFC gloves fly and knock somebody out? Never."
No official decision has been made as to who St-Pierre will face in his return to the promotion but speculation has been rampant. UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping has spoken some about the potential fight and, perhaps as a result, has emerged as the favorite to face the welterweight GOAT. There has, however, been ample discussion for other fighters, including former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, former Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz, and current lightweight champion Conor McGregor. St-Pierre’s own coach, Firas Zahabi, even stated that he would like to see St-Pierre return for an “epic” fight with either Bisping or McGregor. But for Woodley, these possibilities are just a way for St-Pierre to accept easier fights rather than returning to fight for the belt he never lost.
"A smaller guy like [lightweight champion] Conor McGregor or a heavier guy like [middleweight champion] Michael Bisping who we all know is an overachiever in that division.
"Bisping knows he's not the best middleweight. He's just a guy who is tough, seized his moment and became the champion of the world. There's nothing bad about that, but those are way better options for [St-Pierre] than fighting somebody like me, who has been looking at him for many years, is a better wrestler, punches harder and has been more active in the last three years."
Woodley has been angling for a fight with St-Pierre since winning the title at UFC 201 with a spectacular knockout of Robbie Lawler. However, with both Thompson and Demian Maia riding substantial winning streaks in the division giving both legitimate cases for title shots, potential superfights had to take a back seat. But with his business with “Wonderboy” nearly concluded, and Maia now being made to fight Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211, Woodley may finally have the window to get the fight he really wants.
A long Rory MacDonald interview.
TMZ has a ton of new MMA related vids.
Buffer on The Oscars fiasco and how he can relate.
Thompson calling boxing dead.
Yet another person saying MayGregor will happen.
Mayweather Sr. talking about Floyd’s age not being a factor and that he’d win quickly.
The UFC should give Khabib a FightPass show just reviewing American pop culture.
Garbrandt’s insistence about not releasing the video is odd.
T-Wood did a Twitter Q & A.
I just got confirmation that I am still the Main Event for #UFCNashville So Artem is still getting his 5 round ass whooping (or he quits)— Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) February 27, 2017
.@CubSwanson Quits? As long as my heart is beating I aint quitting!!! You will have nightmares about me for the rest of your life— Artem Lobov (@RusHammerMMA) February 28, 2017
I often forget how small Iron Mike was as a heavy.
Today one of my dreams come true, to meet @miketyson he invited me to his home. Thank you for the motivation #Tyson Special thanks for my brother @aliabdelaziz000 who made this. Сегодня встретился с @miketyson Он подарил мне перчатку со своим автографом, а я подарил Папаху Также он пожелал удачи мне в предстоящем бою. Много че хочется написать, но я просто промолчу.
Dom giving props.
.@smilensam how you mix fight life and family life with a smile is admirable— Dominick Cruz (@DominickCruz) March 1, 2017
Brutal Bob looking to get back it seems.
Diego is an intense dude.
The great conundrum of our time.
Is a hotdog in a bun or piece of bread a sandwich? I'm losing friends over this heated debate.— Tim Johnson (@tbeartim) February 28, 2017
Hate to say it, but #wouldwatch.
Demian Maia (24-6) vs. Jorge Masvidal (32-11); UFC 211, May 13.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2008: At UFC 82, Anderson Silva submitted Dan Henderson to retain the UFC middleweight championship and, kind of, unify it with the Pride welterweight title.
The latest addition to the ongoing series, “Not MMA related but quite delightful,” is a my new favorite photo.
Happy Mardi Gras from your boys! pic.twitter.com/GsIdfsfbVT— Anthony Davis (@AntDavis23) February 28, 2017
If the MR had a flag, this would be it.
Happy March everyone. The best event of the year so far is fast approaching. Hope y’all have a good one and see everyone tomorrow!
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.