Just days after Woodley responded to White labeling him a drama queen, White upped the ante Wednesday on ESPN’s SportsCenter when asked if Woodley was upset by the way the UFC was promoting him ahead of his rematch against Stephen Thompson at UFC 209.
“Who knows? Listen, Tyron, that’s all great stuff. Great stuff. You fought to a draw in your last fight. Finish it,” White said. “Finish the fight. [Thompson] was resilient. It was that type of a fight. It was a back-and-forth fight. It was an amazing fight. It was a draw. If that’s what you want people to focus on, is what a stud champion you are, then go in there and finish it on Saturday night and nobody will be questioning you whatsoever.”
Woodley, 34, is slated to fight Thompson for a second consecutive time on March 4 at UFC 209, running back a contest that ended in a majority draw last November.
The disagreement between White and Woodley first picked up last month when White labeled the 170-pound champ as “a bit of a drama queen” on ESPN’s Russell and Kanell when asked why Woodley wasn’t a bigger star in the UFC.
“He’s a smart guy, he’s a good-looking kid,” White said. “He’s explosive. He’s got knockout power. But he’s a bit of a drama queen.
“That’s not what people want to hear. People don’t want to hear that. And then what he does is he’ll start fighting and arguing with people on social media. Then he wonders why when we show up to a press conference, the whole crowd is booing him. They’re not booing him because he’s black. There’s tons of black guys fighting in the UFC, you know what I mean?”
Woodley, who told ESPN in the lead-up to UFC 209 that he felt like he was the “worst-treated champion” in UFC history, initially brushed aside the criticism, but then responded in full on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, pointing the finger back at White.
“How is Dana White gonna call me a drama queen?” Woodley said. “He’s the biggest drama queen. I learned from the best.”
“I just think that we've seen Dana, if you get Dana mad, he gets really mad,” Woodley added. “And then really quickly — I think he’s mad at so many people, I think he forgets he’s mad at you. And he almost just wipes it from his memory. I thought it was actually kind of funny when he called me a drama queen.”
UFC 209 takes place this Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.