Earlier this week, the UFC officially announced that former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos would be taking on outspoken welterweight contender Colby Covington at UFC 224 for the interim welterweight championship. It’s a fight that has been in the works for a while now but the interim belt being on the line is slightly puzzling as undisputed welterweight champion Tyron Woodley fought as recently as last July but “The Chosen One” isn’t letting that get to him.
Speaking with MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Rush, Woodley addressed the recently announced fight, saying that he wasn’t bothered by the creation on the interim title because everyone knows who the real champion is and it’s not the person walking around with the “boo boo belt.” In fact, Woodley said he would make fun of either fighter if they tried to treat the interim title as the real belt.
“I’ve just got to focus on myself,” said Woodley. “We know what the interim title means. That’s the ‘boo boo belt,’ that’s not the real deal. I’m the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. I put the belt up three times. In 12 months, I fought four world title fights. Name me another fighter that’s done that. I can say whatever I want and I can solicit for fights that help my career and legacy but I’m the only one that’s really actually fought the number one contenders.
“I try not to get too bent out of shape because I know what the interim belt means. If someone wins it and fights for it and hoards it around and really walks around like it’s a real belt, I’m gonna make fun of you. I’m gonna roast your ass. So hopefully if they do that. The person better not try to stand next to me with that belt and think I’m gonna take it serious.”
Woodley won the title at UFC 201 in 2016 with a sensational first-round knockout of Robbie Lawler. He then defended the belt three times over the next 12 months, the last of which came against Demian Maia at UFC 214. Since then Woodley has been dealing with an injury while tacitly pursuing money fights against Georges St-Pierre and Nate Diaz though Woodley says he has now given up hope that a St-Pierre fight will materialize. Instead, the champion is targeting a late summer return to fighting, and was planning on defending the belt against dos Anjos before dos Anjos accepted the fight with Covington, a choice Woodley thinks was too risky given the possibility of losing out on a title shot like Frankie Edgar recently did when he accepted a short-notice fight against Brian Ortega.
“They already got me to fight the winner, they don’t need that belt,” said Woodley. “If I was dos Anjos, he’s taking a risk he doesn’t have to take. If he just wants to fight and stay active and keep going, that’s his prerogative but we’ve seen what happened to Frankie Edgar. Frankie Edgar had a clear shot at Max Holloway, he did the T-City [Ortega] thing, it didn’t work out quite right and now he got jumped.
“I told the UFC that I would be willing to fight him in July. They wanted me to fight him in June but June and having surgery on Dec. 20th seemed fairly quick. It usually takes six to eight months to recover. I’m pushing it up four to six months to recover.”
Woodley suffered a partial tear to his labrum in his title defense against Maia and attempted to work through the issue without surgery. Eventually he opted to have the procedure done and has been in recovery since, though he says he has just now returned to sparring and is anxious to return. This has already been the second-longest layoff of Woodley’s professional career and, at 35 years old, the clock is ticking for Woodley to cement his legacy as an all-time great. Fortunately for him, the winner of dos Anjos-Covington will be a clear-cut number one contender for the title and another great name to put on his resume should he be able to defend his title again, something he plans on doing with authority.
“If you think that I don’t want to fight, I make money fighting,” said Woodley. “This is what I do. When I’m fighting and I’m consistent, that’s when I’m at my best. So I’m just trying to have no emotion towards it. It is what it is. If the UFC decides that’s what they want to do, it’s their business, and if they feel like that’s the best thing for the situation, then that’s their call but we all know who the real welterweight champion is and whoever I fight next is just gonna have to get their ass whooped.”
UFC. UFC releases statement concerning Conor McGregor’s actions at Barclays Center.
BTS before everything went haywire.
Fighters watching bare-knuckle boxing.
Conor is all over TMZ today.
Parillo interview covering a lot of different topics.
The MMA Beat. Discussing today’s happenings and UFC 223.
Roundtable. Breaking down all the fights, even the cancelled ones, for UFC 223.
Reaction. Luke Thomas reacts to the absurdity of today.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
The Tweet before all hell broke loose.
You’s’ll strip me of nothing you’s do nothing cunts.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 5, 2018
MMA, sport of the future.
Of course Nate was gonna chime in.
He shouldn't have been trying to punk his boy when he was alone, like a bully. Then he expects not to get rolled on fukn rookie..— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 5, 2018
And then stay on the bus
haha u guys got punked ....
I allready slapped and punked both these guys and they teams though so that's none of my buisness— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 5, 2018
Paulie going for the throat.
The fact this shitbag has any fans says more about the state of today's society than anything else. Lost 2 of 3, beat Chad Mendez when the guy came in as late sub. Lost 2 Diaz on last sub n barely won rematch and on top of it is just a punk with no manners https://t.co/hjeAX0ZDJu— Paul Malignaggi (@PaulMalignaggi) April 5, 2018
Angie really had a good social media day.
Meanwhile in NY, man holding pipe shot dead by NYPD. Y’all better get ya boy. https://t.co/XnXRuj3MGD— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) April 5, 2018
Don’t hurt ‘em Stipe.
Shitty situation for Chiesa & Pettis........ I only live an hour from the Barclays Center & I'm more than game— Nick Newell (@NotoriousNewell) April 6, 2018
I mean, if kids can’t look up to cage fighters, who can they have as heroes?
Time to @ufc start promete good people, fighters that can be a example for kids and new generation and also that can be good for the image of the show.— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) April 5, 2018
Conor better go buy a boomerang ASAP.
That face when you know your Red Panty Night has slipped out of your grasp forever.
Put Me Back In Coach, WTF?! I Hate Sitting On The Sidelines, Especially W/ All The Bullshit McNuggets & Crew Trying To Pull @barclayscenter The @ufc & Fans Need Me!!! #TonyFergusonMMA SnapJitsu™️ #SnapDownCity -Champ— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) April 5, 2018
This situation really does suck for all those fighters who did nothing wrong.
A decision was made by the New York State Athletic Commission to pull me from UFC 223. I’m devastated to say the least. @Showtimepettis I hope to run this match up ASAP, June 9th in your backyard. That’s all I have to say for now. Much love.— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) April 6, 2018
A more innocent time.
A lot of this sentiment out there after yesterday.
Or, this one.
Conor McGregor was in full WWE mode today. Throwing gates like he was in “hell in the cell” or something— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) April 5, 2018
DC is a hero.
Ground plane.....— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) April 5, 2018
Take in custody....
Escort to arena on Saturday night to make him fight Khabib.....
That’s true punishment!
Mike Swick with an interesting take on how the UFC operates.
Conor trashing the fighter van in New York. What the hell is wrong with this guy? This is why the UFC isn’t going to want to pay fighters so much anymore. pic.twitter.com/sYZd3xB1mn— MikeSwick.com (@officialswick) April 5, 2018
For someone talking about how much money he wants to fight again, showing up and trying to scrap for free seems like a poor business move. Especially if your license is revoked in the process... or is that a part of the plan?— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) April 5, 2018
And Jim Miller from the rafters!
This can’t be a coincidence.
Lost in today's madness, Al Iaquinta was the only fighter without an identifying board at media day. pic.twitter.com/GJgxltQOBA— Luke Thomas (@lthomasnews) April 5, 2018
Mike Jackson’s big news got seriously overshadowed by Conor’s antics.
Also overshadowed but this is a pretty big deal for Project Spearhead.
Would be a great fight.
Rose getting the love from Killer Mike.
Chris Pratt giving love to the Nog brothers.
If you know me you know I’m a massive fan of MMA (mixed martial arts) I consider JiuJitsu, karate, tae kwon do, judo and wrestling to be just as much an art form as acting is a job (which is to say sometimes it doesn’t feel like it is.) Regardless it’s a discipline which requires intense training, dedication and sacrifice. Today I was blessed to enjoy a training session with a couple of MMA’s greatest practitioners. The Noguera brothers are São Paulo natives and absolute legends. “MINOTAURO” asked me to demonstrate some wrestling takedowns on him. He is a former heavyweight champion in both UFC and Pride and is widely considered to be one of the toughest humans in the planet. He’s also one of the nicest. I guess when you walk around with a repertoire of lethal moves at your disposal you can afford to be gracious and kind. Thanks you @minotauromma and @minotouromma for the session! And thank you #saopaulo #guerrainfinita
MMA has to have the highest number of insane tangential “sports” attached to it of any athletic endeavor.
Never forget the time that the UK organisation UCMMA tried mixing Rugby with MMA to create 'Ultimate Ball'...— The MMA Bible (@TheMMABible) April 4, 2018
For some reason it only lasted one tournament... wonder why?! pic.twitter.com/a5ZVrTLNYX
Molly McCann (7-1) vs. Gillian Robertson (4-2); UFC Liverpool, May 27.
C.M. Punk (0-1) vs. Mike Jackson (0-1); UFC 225, June 9.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2013: Gegard Mousasi made his UFC debut, defeating fellow debutante Ilir Latifi in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 9. You also may recall this as the day Conor McGregor made his UFC debut with a win over Marcus Brimage.
There’s a world in which Conor’s alleged dolly throw causes cuts to Rose and Khabib, sending them in for stitches and keeping them from fighting tomorrow. This stuff is seriously insane.
If Khabib blows weight tomorrow, this has suddenly become the most absurd UFC PPV ever.
Enjoy the fights this weekend and see y’all on Monday.
Who wins the UFC lightweight title tomorrow night?
This poll is closed
HAHAHAHAHA. Come on man, you know something is gonna happen to kill this fight in the next 36 hours.
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