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Morning Report: Tyron Woodley eyeing champion vs. champion fight against Georges St-Pierre

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Gallery Photo: UFC 174 Workout Media Day and EA MMA Demo

When Tyron Woodley won the UFC welterweight title at UFC 201 last July, he immediately began angling for “money fights” with Nick Diaz or Georges St-Pierre. This was a point of contention for many fans who dubbed Woodley, “The Choosey One” - a play on his “The Chosen One” sobriquet - because Woodley had two clear-cut challengers waiting in the wings while both Diaz and St-Pierre hadn’t fought in years. But now that Woodley has defended his belt three times in the last year, all against No. 1 contenders, and there is no obvious contender for him to face next, Woodley is back to dreaming big, and this time, his calls for marquee fights might carry a bit more heft.

Speaking recently with Sports Illustrated, the welterweight champ says he wants the next headline about him to read: "Tyron Woodley is going up to middleweight to face Georges St-Pierre if he beats Michael Bisping," because that would establish himself as the greatest welterweight of all time and cap off the best run in the history of the welterweight division.

"I wanted to fight one more time, I was being greedy. I wanted to go out here and beat [Demian Maia] and I wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre in November in New York City. This would've been the greatest year competitively, and after I beat Georges, there is no question that I'll be Fighter of the Year. I fight five title fights in 18 months and beat the greatest welterweight of all time, nobody has done anything like that in our sport. . .

"My brother-in-law just asked me [who I’m fighting next] and I said you know what, if he wins I'm going up there to fight him cause you can't keep running from me."

St-Pierre is the long-time welterweight kingpin who retired with the belt in 2013. He is set to make his return at UFC 217 where he will challenge Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title. If he wins, St-Pierre will be only the fourth person in UFC history to have won belts in two divisions; but if he loses, St-Pierre may possibly retire from the sport for good, leaving Woodley without his preferred money fight. Woodley says that would be suboptimal for him but in the end, he would be happy to fight whoever wins that fight, even if it is Bisping.

“I would fight Bisping as well, to be honest. I'm not just saying I want to move up to middleweight because at welterweight I'm a larger size and I feel comfortable at the weight. I have no issues making it, it's not easy but I always get it done.

“To fight Bisping or Georges, I'd love fight either one. But mainly I want to fight Georges.”

There’s one more impediment to Woodley’s grand designs: Robert Whittaker just won the interim UFC middleweight championship and will ostensibly be next in line for a fight with the winner of St-Pierre vs. Bisping. But Woodley scoffs that off, noting that in the fight game, particularly nowadays, meritocracy always takes a back seat to economics.

“There is no such thing as a stipulation, you're a sub-contract worker. You're not obligated or required to do anything. What about when Johny Hendricks was the clear-cut winner and it was time for him to fight for the title and he got passed over by Nick Diaz who lost to Carlos Condit? It's a game of what fight makes money, that's all it is.

“There is no No. 1 contender, I've fought them all, right? At the end of the day, you don't get rewarded for beating someone whose claim is the No. 1 contender, the No. 1 guy outside the champion. There is no reward for that. . .

“But guys can go out and fight guys that aren't even in their weight class, aren't even ranked in the top-10. Bisping's last fight against Dan Henderson, was Dan Henderson even in the top-15 at the time? Conor fought Nate Diaz at 170 and neither one of those guys are true 170-pounders. It's not a matter of No. 1 contendership anymore. It's a matter of money and business.”

But for now, Woodley is just another fighter on the outside looking in, hoping to land a superfight, the same one he’s been chasing for over a year. But as he continues to press onwards towards his goals, he’s has faith everything will work out for him.

"I know when you do things systematically, non-stop, and repetition, that's how you make things happen in your life.”


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VIDEO STEW

Free fight.

And so the rematch talk begins.

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Paulie gonna ride this wave as long as he can.

AXS TV free fight.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Circus. Kajan Johnson and Jeremy Lopez interviews.

Believe You Me. MayMac, Conor’s cardio, and Jon Jones are discussed.

Submission Radio. Kevin Lee and Richard Perez interviews.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Conor laying that groundwork for a rematch with Floyd in the cage.

Just coming back around after a whirlwind couple of days. Thank you to all the fans for the support of the fight and the event! Without your support we as fighters are nothing so I thank you all! Thank you to my team of coaches and training partners! I had an amazing team and It truly was an amazing and enjoyable camp, and honestly I feel with just a little change in certain areas of the prep, we could have built the engine for 12 full rounds under stress, and got the better result on the night. Getting to 12 rounds alone in practice was always the challenge in this camp. We started slowly getting to the 12 and decreasing the stress in the rounds the closer it got to 12. I think for the time we had, 10 weeks in camp, it had to be done this way. If I began with a loaded 12 rounds under much stress I would have only hit a brick wall and lost progress as a result and potentially not made the fight. A little more time and we could have made the 12 cleanly, while under more stress, and made it thru the later rounds in the actual fight. I feel every decision we made at each given time was the correct decision, and I am proud of everyone of my team for what we done in the short time that we done it. 30 minutes was the longest I have fought in a ring or cage or anywhere. Surpassing my previous time of 25 minutes. I am happy for the experience and happy to take all these great lessons with me and implement them into my camp going forward. Another day another lesson! Congrats to Floyd on a well fought match. Very experienced and methodical in his work. I wish him well in retirement. He is a heck of a boxer. His experience, his patience and his endurance won him this fight hands down. I always told him he was not a fighter but a boxer. But sharing the ring with him he is certainly a solid fighter. Strong in the clinch. Great understanding of frames and head position. He has some very strong tools he could bring into an MMA game for sure. Here is a toast of whiskey to everyone involved in this event and everyone who enjoyed it! Thank you to you all! Onto the next one!

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on

Floyd is spot on.

Jon working through things with Twitter.

Respect.

See? Nate has already been whittled down $80M.

WANT. THIS.

Tremendous marketing gimmick.

Enjoy.

I would tell you you are wrong.

If Condit is coming back, that’s awesome for all of us.

Mickey Gall teasing a return to action soon.

Just chillin hangin bein cool... Waitin to make my next fight announcement. #MG #MSG

A post shared by Mickey Gall (@mickeygall) on

Banger.

Sick burn.

Future tag team champs.

We do it all, WWF, MMA, NCAA all the acronyms . #reymysterio #ropes

A post shared by Ed Truth Ruth (@edruth67) on


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Zach Freeman (9-2) vs. Saad Awad (20-9); Bellator 186, Nov. 3.

John Dodson (19-8) vs. Marlon Moraes (18-5-1); UFC Fight Night: Norfolk, Nov. 11.

Alex Chambers (5-3) vs. Nadia Kassem (4-0); UFC Fight Night: Sydney, Nov. 19.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

1995: Bas Rutten won the King of Pancrase title when he submitted Minoru Suzuki with a guillotine choke at Pancrase: 1995 Anniversary Show.

2012: Greg Jackson killed MMA when UFC 151 did not go on as scheduled. 151 was to be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson but Henderson was forced to withdraw and Jones refused to take on a short notice opponent, forcing the UFC to cancel the event.


FINAL THOUGHTS

First fight weekend in a long time and it’s...... not great. Still, nice to have fights back even if there are only 3 weekends for the rest of the year that won’t have a UFC event and we’ll all be burnt out soon. Ahead of UFC Fight Night: Rotterdam, check out this piece by Karim Zidan about Abdul-Kerim Edilov, a fighter making his UFC debut this weekend who also happens to work for Ramzan Kadyrov, among the most notorious people on the planet.

Take it easy, enjoy the fights, and see y’all Monday.

Oh, and since we do have polls, let’s start bringing these bad boys back.

Poll

Does Conor McGregor ever rematch Floyd Mayweather in the UFC?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Yes. Too much money for it not to happen.
    (44 votes)
  • 95%
    No. Floyd will never fight in MMA.
    (951 votes)
995 votes total Vote Now

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