On Saturday evening in the co-main event of UFC 214, Tyron Woodley successfully defended his welterweight title against No. 1 contender Demian Maia. It was Woodley’s third defense of the belt and, in the tumultuous 170-pound division, now leaves him without a clear-cut challenger waiting in line.
Well, at least not one who is interested in fighting him.
For the past year, welterweight GOAT Georges St-Pierre has been preparing to make his return to the UFC, but the former 170-pound champion still has his sights set on a 185-pound title clash against Michael Bisping instead of returning to the division he once lorded over. After Woodley’s uninspiring performance against Maia on Saturday, UFC President Dana White reversed his decision on making St-Pierre fight Woodley, and instead says that the UFC is now looking to book St-Pierre vs. Bisping for UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
In the post-fight press conference for UFC 214, Woodley reacted to this news, claiming that St-Pierre is doing everything he can not to face him and that if St-Pierre continues to duck him, he will become the greatest welterweight of all time “by default.”
“[St-Pierre] should have to fight me. If you are the best welterweight of all time, you’re gonna come back into the sport and go up a weight class? I guarantee you if Demian Maia would have won, he would have been talking about fighting Demian Maia. I guarantee if Stephen Thompson would have won, he’d have been looking to fight Stephen Thompson. He doesn’t want to fight me because I’m a better version of him.
“When was the last time Michael Bisping fought? Think about it. I fought four world title fights against actual No. 1 contenders. Has he ever fought a No. 1 contender? I fought the No. 1 contender twice. I fought the No. 1 contender after that. And I fought the world champion who was Robbie Lawler at the time before that. I’m the only one that’s going by the old set of rules. So if it’s not Georges St-Pierre, let him run. But guess what? Whoever you put in front of me, I’m gonna run through them, I’m gonna beat them, and if he does not fight me, by default I will be the best welterweight of all-time.”
Woodley makes some strong points. Since winning the title last year at UFC 201, the welterweight champion has defended his belt twice against number one contender Stephen Thompson before his Saturday defense over number one contender Demian Maia. At the time he first faced them, both men were on seven-fight winning streaks and the clearly deserving of title shots. Meanwhile, since Bisping won the middleweight title at UFC 199, he has defended his belt only once, against the then thirteenth ranked Dan Henderson who was on a one fight winning streak.
Woodley insists that the way forward should be obvious: Bisping hasn’t defended the title against any No. 1 contenders and there is currently an interim champion in his division he should have to defend against. Meanwhile, there is no obvious next challenger for Woodley, and if St-Pierre wants to return to fighting, he would be more than deserving of a chance to reclaim the title he retired with.
“The clarity should just be Georges. I don’t understand, you have an interim title right? Robert Whittaker just beat Yoel Romero. . . He deserves to fight Bisping next. How long is Bisping going to milk this knee injury? Is his knee severed or what the hell is going on? He should be fighting the No. 1 contenders like I’ve had to do.”
Results. UFC 214 happened on Saturday and these are the results.
Bus throw. Dana White criticizes Tyron Woodley’s title defense over Demian Maia.
GSP. Bisping vs. GSP is back to being targeted, now for UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden.
UFC 214 Post-Fight Show.
All-Access MayMac, first episode.
Cerrone wanting that Diaz rematch.
Strange brand for Felice Herrig to develop, but go with what works.
6th Round. Immediate post-fight thoughts on UFC 214.
Luke Thomas. UFC 214 post-fight reaction.
Bushido Talk. UFC 214 afterthoughts.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
First off, thank you all for the kind words. I have felt the support. Congratulations to Jon Jones and his team. They did a phenomenal job and got the victory. Also, to Big John McCarthy, I would like to apologize for acting up with you. I am thankful for the time you gave me to try and defend myself and stay in the fight. You are the best in the business for a reason. I also wanna thank my team and my coaches. I love you all from the bottom of my heart. Your time and energy is greatly appreciated. You guys did a wonderful job, I was ready. It's a fist fight and things happen. Dana White and the @ufc, thank you for being the premiere organization in all of MMA. Again, congrats to Team Jones and JacksonWink. Love you all. I'll see you soon. DC @layziethesavage
My apologies to D.C. And to everyone else upset at me for interviewing him after the fight. In all honestly I was kind of in shock and I don't think I realized what I was doing until I had a mic in my hand and I was talking to him. I've said that I don't want to interview fighters after they've been KO'ed and then I did it to someone that I care a great deal about. It was 100% my fuck up and no one pressured me to do it. I posted a series of tweets about it on twitter but I know some of you folks only use instagram or Facebook so I thought the right thing to do is post it here as well. I was beating myself up about it all night, and whenever something like that happens it's always my sincere intention to apologize and express my honest feelings. It'll never happen again.
Again, no one asked me to do it. It was 100% my fuck up. Like I said, I was kind of in shock.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) July 30, 2017
You won't see any DC memes or GIFs from me. If he retired right now, he'd still be the 2nd best Light Heavy of All Time.— Chase Sherman (@ChaseShermanUFC) July 30, 2017
I bought the Spanish broadcast by accident somehow so I commentated to myself all night. #UFC214— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) July 30, 2017
@JonnyBones congrats Champ. Stop asking for retired fighters, I've been waiting to put my hands on you and so have all the fans.— Alexander Gustafsson (@AlexTheMauler) July 30, 2017
Well I was a pussy tonight, super disappointed in myself..sorry to everyone that wasted their $ to come out and watch..smdh— tonya evinger (@tonyaevinger) July 30, 2017
shut up stupid— tonya evinger (@tonyaevinger) July 30, 2017
Thats a tough ass soccer mom.— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) July 30, 2017
My guess is @IronLadyMMA pulled out of Cyborg fight over $ not fear. She would beat Cyborg with superior technique. Evinger was natural 135.— Frank Mir (@thefrankmir) July 30, 2017
Losing in front of the world is hard. Disappointed in my performance tonight. Sorry to my team and my supporters.— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) July 30, 2017
Just got off the phone with @Showtime1mma . all I have to say is CLASS ACT!! THE DUDE DESERVES TO BE IN THE UFC. nothing BUT LOVE FAM— Jarred Brooks (@The_monkeygod) July 30, 2017
Michael Bisping (30-7) vs. Georges St-Pierre (25-2); UFC 217, Nov. 4.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2013: Michael Chandler knocked out David Rickels in 44 seconds at Bellator 97 to retain his lightweight title. In the co-main event, Ben Askren stopped Andrey Koreshkov with punches in the fourth round to retain his welterweight title.
What a weekend. Much respect to Daniel Cormier. He had a great plan, fought as hard as he could, wanted it so damn much, but in the end, it just didn’t matter. Jon Jones is probably better at inflicting hand-to-hand violence on human beings than anyone ever in history. Cormier will probably never get the full respect he deserves but he’s the second-best light heavyweight ever and probably a top-10 fighter all-time. He just has the bad fortune of competing in the same weight class, at the same time as one of, if not the very best ever. Can’t wait to see DC at heavyweight though. I think he can beat anyone up there now.
It’s good to be back everyone. For those of you who hate me, sorry. For those who don’t, thanks! And don’t look now but we’ve still got fights ahead of us with Fight Night Mexico City on Saturday which may, potentially, create the next contender for Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title (assuming he beats Borg). Take it easy and see y’all 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, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.