Woodley, who competed on Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 214 in Anaheim, Calif., successfully defended his welterweight title for a third time against one of the most skilled and intricate opponents he’s faced to this date – Demian Maia. Despite shutting down the game of the Brazilain jiu-jitsu expert and retaining his title, Woodley’s performance failed to capture the interest of many fans as he was booed by the majority of the crowd at the Honda Center due to a lackluster fight.
One of those not entertained by the welterweight title fight was UFC president Dana White.
“Listen, when you break a record for the least punches ever thrown in a five-round title fight, and you beat it, by I think it was like 130 [strikes] and these guys threw 60 or something like that, I think that sums it up,” White told reporters at the post-fight press conference.
“The guy [Maia] had one eye in the first round and you’re [Woodley] faster, you’re stronger, your hands are better, you’re explosive. I believe that Woodley could’ve finished that in the first round, and if not, he definitely could’ve finished it in the second round. If you had a remote control for that guy, he’s a freak of nature, he’d be an incredible fighter. Listen, it’s easy to say a win is a win but when you get booed out of an arena, that means people don’t want to watch you fight, you know. And that’s how you make a living. It’s not good if people don’t want to watch you fight.”
With that performance against Maia, White believes Woodley will have a hard time selling pay-per-views moving forward, as he doesn’t see fans being interested in watching Woodley fight.
“[If] You ask fans if they want to see Woodley fight again, I think that will be a flat out no,” White said. “Who wants to pay to see Tyron Woodley fight again? He’s an absolute physical specimen, the guy could’ve finished the fight at any time he wanted to but, you know, he didn’t want to take the risks. [If] you take no risks, you get no rewards.”
Now, having changed minds and announced that Georges St-Pierre will no longer be fighting Woodley because he’s once again fighting Michael Bisping, it’s unknown what’ll be next for the welterweight champion. However, one possible option could be a rematch with Lawler, who picked up a victory over Donald Cerrone earlier on the card.
“Right now, off the top of my head, I would say Robbie Lawler,” White said. “He’s not getting the GSP fight, but the Robbie Lawler is a great fight too.”