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Morning Report: Tyron Woodley refutes Dana White’s claim that he doesn’t want to fight: ‘I don’t make money if I don’t fight’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Since winning the UFC welterweight title in 2016, Tyron Woodley has been one of the most active UFC champions, having defended his title four times in two years, including a dominant title defense against Darren Till just three months ago. But after moving the T.J. Dillashaw-Henry Cejudo superfight fight to bolster their ESPN debut, the UFC is in desperate need of a main event for UFC 233 so once again Dana White is antsy for Woodley’s return, claiming that the champion never wants to fight. But Woodley says that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show yesterday, Woodley addressed White’s recent statements about him, reiterating that he is still recovering from a hand injury and that he would like to fight in January but needs final clearance from his surgeon before committing to do so.

“I’ve agreed to fight Colby. I’ve agreed to fight really anybody – that’s the funny part,” Woodley said. “I just asked for a little more time before I can confirm [my hand is good to go]. I’ve never said no to January 26. Let’s get that on record. I actually want to fight in Anaheim. . .

“I’ve stepped up for the UFC many, many, many times. But at one point, you need to start monitoring your legacy, monitoring your title run, monitoring the way you want to be remembered. I don’t want to be remembered as a guy that lost a fight to Colby Covington, or anybody else, because he knew he wasn’t 100 percent, or wasn’t given the chance to at least go through the physician that performed the surgery on his hand to get his clearance.”

Though Woodley has been one of the most active champions, he also has been somewhat injury prone as well, often getting injured during his title fights. Against Demian Maia, Woodley tore his labrum early in the bout and still managed to blank the jiu-jitsu ace on the scorecards. In his recent title defense against Till, Woodley dislocated his thumb, tearing ligaments in his hand and requiring the surgery that is currently sidelining him. Despite continuing to suffer injuries, Woodley has still been delivering results, however, he doesn’t want to jeopardize his legacy by rushing back too soon to fix a problem the UFC created in the first place.

“That’s what a champion does,” Woodley said. “What a champion doesn’t do, he doesn’t go out there with an injury. He doesn’t go out there knowing he’s not 100 percent and rolls those dice, because if I go out there, and my hand’s not ready to go, and I fight Colby Covington, and I come up short that night, nobody’s going to care that my hand’s hurt. Colby Covington’s going to be, ‘Nah nah nah nah, ha ha ha ha ha,’ and he’ll never fight me again, because he knows the only chance he can beat me is if I’m lacking in one department. Outside of that, it’s virtually impossible for him to beat me.”

At the end of the day, Woodley is doing his best to get back to action by early next year, not because the UFC needs a main event but because he is a prizefighter. Fighting is his job and if he doesn’t fight, he doesn’t make money.

“I don’t make money if I don’t fight,” Woodley concluded. “If y’all think I want to sit around, and you think I make enough money in music, or TV, or movies, you guys have got life messed up. I make my money in fighting. That’s where I do the best at, and I recognize it’s my season right now, and that’s what I’m prepared to do.”

Woodley is continuing his rehab and is hoping to have a determination on the status of his hand by this week.


GOAT. Max Holloway still believes Jose Aldo is the greatest featherweight ever: ‘I’m chasing him’.

LOL. John Kavanagh would have to be convinced to work with Conor McGregor again.

Title fight. UFC 233 fight with Tyron Woodley ‘on the table’ as far as Colby Covington is concerned.

Goals. Jessica Eye won’t accept any fight but a title shot next after win at UFC 231.


The MMA Hour.

Fight Motion.

Road to the octagon.

Bellator Countdown 2.

Shinya Aoki does pro wrestling.

Frankie wants Conor or Max.

This is incredible. Well done, Michael Chandler.


Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC 231 and looking ahead to UFC Milwaukee.

Co-Main Event. Reviewing UFC 231 and the end of UFC’s deal with Fox.


Sure. Why not?


Good spirits.

That’s pretty badass.


This finally gets settled.

Do it.


Jessica Penne (12-5) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-4); UFC ESPN, Feb. 17.


2010: Georges St-Pierre won a unanimous decision in hi rematch with Josh Kosheck at UFC 214 to retain his welterweight title.

2015: Frankie Edgar knocked out Chad Mendes at the TUF 22 Finale.


It must be fun to be Tyron Woodley and have to constantly defend yourself from public attacks by the man who is supposed to be promoting you. Seems like an awesome time.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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