UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has said clearly that he wants his first title defense to be against former champion Georges St-Pierre or Nick Diaz. Diaz hasn’t fought in eighteen months, and GSP hasn’t fought since 2013. However, they are both big money fights. And professional fighters, the smart ones, fight to make the most money.
The return of GSP particularly is huge money.
However, two weeks ago, UFC president Dana White voiced other plans.
“Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is going to fight for the 170-pound title,” said White. “And then we’ll see what happens with Nick and Nate.”
Then on Saturday at UFC on FOX 21, Demian Maia put on a mind boggling dismantling of former interim champion Carlos Condit. Maia tapped ‘The Natural Born Killer’ out in the first round, taking just one punch in the process. That drove the total number of times he has been hit in the past four fights to 13.
It is a level of dominance not seen since Royce Gracie fought a bunch of men who didn’t know how to really fight at UFC 1. At 38 Maia is not young, and pled for a title shot.
However, Thompson still expects to fight Woodley, and thinks it might be at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, when the league makes a triumphant return to New York, at Madison Square Garden.
“I have heard that it is going to happen; I’ve heard some weeks here and there that it could be a possibility,” said Thompson to Mike Bohn for MMAjunkie. “Just don’t know when. I’m training right now as if I’m facing Tyron Woodley in November on the Madison Square Garden card. So I’m preparing as if I’m gong to fight then.”
“I think it’s a great matchup for me. He keeps his left side forward, likes to throw the big right hand. He’s a very explosive fighter, doesn’t fight very well backing up, and tends to slow down after the first round because he’s a very explosive guy. He’s not afraid to stand there and bang it out, which is a plus for me, as well.”
“I think [Woodley] is just coming up with excuses why not to face me. I know he wants that money fight, but what champion who really has had the belt around their waist for 30 seconds says, ‘Hey, give me a money fight’? I was kind of laughing in my head. I was all smiles but in my head. I was like, ‘Really?’
“If he’s refusing somebody – a champion refusing to fight somebody? Then yeah [he should be stripped].”
“[GSP] is one of the greats, but he hasn’t fought in three years. Plus to give that fight to Tyron? Maybe (do GSP vs.) Anderson Silva or Conor McGregor or someone like that – a bigger name. I feel Tyron, his name obviously isn’t as big as some of those guys, so why would they give it to him? It’s going to happen. Just tell me when and where.”