For much of last year, the UFC welterweight title picture was dominated by the rivalry between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. After a pair of controversial fights, Woodley retained the belt and now the UFC’s 170-pound division can return to regularly scheduled business. And while a year ago, the assumption would have been that Woodley would now be facing Demian Maia, but that potential bout is in doubt because Maia is set to fight Jorge Masvidal next weekend at UFC 211.
On the UFC Unfiltered podcast recently, Woodley spoke about what he called Maia’s “bad move” in accepting a non-title fight and why he thinks the bout is so risky for the BJJ world champion.
“Unfortunately for Maia, he accepted the fight the week of me and Wonderboy’s fight. In my personal opinion, bad move. Wait and see how the fight went. If nobody came out of the fight hurt, a clear winner, not another draw, you’re already in a position to fight for a world title. Why would you put yourself up against the worst possible matchup outside of a title fight? Why would you put yourself in that position?
“I don’t want to call him stupid but damn that was stupid.”
Maia is currently on a six-fight win streak in the division, having defeated five ranked fighters in a row and submitting three of them. But despite his sterling record, Maia was never guaranteed a title shot and made to fight Masvidal instead in what is presumably a No. 1 contenders bout. However, presumption doesn’t count for much in the UFC matchmaking hierarchy and Woodley is already training for his next title fight which he hopes to be in July. Depending on how his fight with Masvidal goes, that could be an awfully quick turnaround for Maia and besides, Woodley has been teasing that it’s somebody else who has yet to sign the papers.
“It’s a lot of fighters that say, ‘I’ll fight anybody, anytime, anywhere,’ but they really don’t mean that. If Conor McGregor wanted to fight me, he has an opportunity to do so. So does Bisping. So does Georges St-Pierre. So does Nick Diaz. So does Nate Diaz. all these guys got a chance to step up to the plate but ain’t nobody picked up the bat.
“When we announce the fight, that means the contract is signed.”
As far as UFC 211 goes though, Woodley says he’s not sure Maia gets through Masvidal, noting Masvidal’s excellent takedown defense and strong striking and distance management. But even if he does and Woodley ends up facing Maia, he’s not too worried about the outcome.
“If I fight him, he’s getting knocked out. He ain’t getting no takedown. It’s a sprawl, it’s a knockout.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Dude left France for better training. HW division better watch out.
“To the death” is a bit much.
I like it.
Bro I have nothing but respect for you. Ur a martial artist like me. I would love to throw down in Scotland!!! Let's make that card bro!! https://t.co/xqWCNJsqSY— Paul Felder (@felderpaul) May 2, 2017
The voice of HBO boxing knows.
Looking at boxing and thinking “that’s awesome, let’s do that” is a strange thing to me.
@arielhelwani these guys don't realize it but they are asking for the Ali Act. Independent Sanctioning bodies and cross promotion.— Jon Fitch (@jonfitchdotnet) May 2, 2017
Very happy, and UFC can renew four games, then prepare for the next!— Li Jingliang_MMA (@UfcJingliang) May 2, 2017
The fight is going to be a breeze, going to make it look with ease! https://t.co/rrZhD0KJWA— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) May 2, 2017
Got into this conversation yesterday: how many ranked UFC middleweights and welterweights would you pick to beat Michael Bisping? My count is 11 that I would definitely pick to beat him plus Nick Diaz who isn’t ranked but I’d take in that fight. I really wish I could poll this to see what y’all think.
Anyway, that’s it for today folks. Take it easy and Conor bless.
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