And new UFC middleweight Tyron Woodley waited 18 months between fights before challenging and defeating Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 Saturday night. The wait was smart.
Immediately after a fight is over, there is an extraordinary opportunity to proselytize for the fight you want.
Saying “I will fight who ever Dana wants me to,” is not smart.
But Tyron Woodley is smart. When the fight was over, Woodley said exactly what he wanted. He dismissed #1 contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
“Stephen Thompson said he wanted to fight Robbie Lawler,” said Woodley. “He said it was a better matchup, the fans would be excited to watch it. He’ll get an opportunity to have that fight.”
The Woodley said he wanted Nick Diaz and GSP.
“These guys are legends,” said Woodley, as transcribed by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “Nick Diaz is a top-five welterweight of all time in my eyes. Georges St-Pierre is the No. 1 welterweight in my eyes. If I’m an athlete in this sport, in this division and I want to say I’m the best in the world, I feel like I should compete against those guys. So I don’t feel any obligation to go by the rankings. We all know how those rankings are produced anyway. And I want to go out there and I want to fight the money fights.”
“I think Nick Diaz comes off suspension in two days. I would love to fight him on 202. I know his brother is fighting. I think he deserves it. He’s a guy that’s been around the sport. He’s put a lot of butts in the seats, sold a lot of pay-per-views. So why not put him on a big card with Conor and his brother? I know he’s training already.”
“I want to make some money now. I’m gonna be honest. Goal one is to be the welterweight champion of the world, but I put in too much time. I’m away from my family way too often. This is a sport where we can make cash now, instead of just saying this person deserves it, he worked his way through the ranks.”