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Morning Report: Tyron Woodley: If GSP doesn’t fight me, by default I will be the best welterweight of all-time

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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.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Results. UFC 214 happened on Saturday and these are the results.

WWE. Jon Jones is confident he can defeat Brock Lesnar in superfight.

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.

$$$. Anthony Johnson says he is not considering returning to MMA at the moment.


VIDEO STEW

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.


LISTEN UP

6th Round. Immediate post-fight thoughts on UFC 214.

Luke Thomas. UFC 214 post-fight reaction.

Bushido Talk. UFC 214 afterthoughts.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

214 aftermath.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michael Bisping (30-7) vs. Georges St-Pierre (25-2); UFC 217, Nov. 4.

Claudia Gadelha (15-2) vs. Jessica Andrade (16-6); UFC Fight Night: Japan, Sept. 22.


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.


FINAL THOUGHTS

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.