The main event of UFC 195 between Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler is being labeled as one of the best fights in UFC history. However it is also being labeled as highly contraversial, and in what seems like an immediate rematch is looming, the other number 1 contender, Tyron Woodley is preparing for the worst.
“For me, this is my year, man,” Woodley said. “You can delay, but you cannot deny. I need to make the t-shirt, that is going to be my mantra for the entire year. I will be the world champion and I am the best in the world. Watching that fight, I was inspired, but also I had the pen and notepad there and I saw a lot of opportunities where I would’ve seized the moment, where I would’ve not engaged into that freaking all-out brawl. I know you guys love watching it, but Carlos Condit could’ve found a way to get into a clinch, chop some elbows and knees, bring Robbie close to him and avoid letting him win that (fifth) round.”
The UFC has yet to tip its hand as to its next step, whether Condit will earn an immediate rematch against Lawler or Woodley will face his American Top Team stablemate for the welterweight title. But it’s no secret what Woodley wants.
He campaigned for the UFC to hold up its end of the bargain Saturday night as an analyst on the FOX Sports 1 post-fight show, and he stuck to his guns on Monday, saying that the UFC should “honor” what it promises to fighters.
“What if I (fight Matt Brown and) slip on the banana peel that Carlos Condit slipped on when we fought and then I’m out of the fight?” Woodley said. “Does he jump ahead and fight for a world title having never defeated a top-10 guy? Do I fight Demian Maia and it’s a wrestling-fest that nobody enjoys watching? Nobody wants to see me do another Jake Shields fight. That’s the risk that I put myself into. I would rather preserve my body, stay in shape, stay mentally sharp, be prepared, and get the world title fight and seize the moment.
“The money comes with the champion’s belt,” Woodley added. “That’s no hidden secret. I’m trying to change my family’s life. I ain’t trying to just keep collecting checks and a few months later scrape again. I’m trying to secure longevity for my family, wealth for my family. I’m trying to leave a legacy. The goal is to be a champion, it’s not to be a contender. So these are contender fights. I feel like I’ve done enough to have already fought for the world title before, so why should I have to do more?”
Woodley has been vocal about what he wants before, and for the most part, it has worked. He asked for the fights against Condit and Hendricks. He made the best of both of those opportunities once they were given to him. Now he wants only what he was promised in October, even if the realist inside him knows it may not happen.
“I’ve never asked for a fighter who wasn’t either a No. 1 contender or a former title holder or a title challenger,” Woodley said. “Think about my route. Jake Shields, fought for the title, he was a Strikeforce champ. Carlos Condit was an interim champ and fought for the title. Rory MacDonald. Everyone I’ve asked for. Johny Hendricks. It’s not by design. People say, ‘Tyron picks fight.’ You’re damn right I pick fights. The fights I pick are hard.
“They’re harder than the ones people offer me, and they’re the people who are either No. 1 contenders or have formerly fought for the title. That’s my goal to the top. I want to leave no question. So with that said, I have not talked with them (the UFC). I think they know the right thing to do. Some things gotta sort out, and I’m also logical. I know that people want to see Carlos Condit vs. Robbie Lawler 2, and I’m just preparing myself to be heartbroken again. But I’m telling you, if get heartbroken, it’s going to get somebody hurt. It will get somebody hurt real bad.”