UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley had a trying weekend at UFC 205. First, he defended the title over five hard rounds. Then there was an announcement that the score had been announced wrong. It ended up being a majority tie, in which case the champ keeps the belt, but Woodley looked momentarily like he had been mugged at machinegun point. Then when McGregor won, he had to temporarily give up his belt as a prop for Notorious. His thanks were McGregor quipping that it could be, “a sign of things to come.” And pre fight, McGregor and Woodley shared a brief beef by the buffet. On episode 1 of The Champ Life, Woodley discusses his reaction.
“When he got in my face and I looked at him I said, ‘what’s up?’ At that moment he realized I ain’t that dude,” said Woodey, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “I’m really about that life. I’m really from that life. My family is from that life. I’m actually one of the sharper tools in the box that haven’t been in the streets like that but I have family members, close loved ones, that that’s all they know.
“So I’ve been around that a lot and I try not to take myself back to those dark areas, I try to stay sophisticated, stay professional but a few people can take you out of that element and bring that Ferguson back out of you and he almost did it. But I had to keep my eyes on the prize, defend my strap in a Fight of the Night performance at UFC 205.
“Now that we got that done – that’s off the table – if Conor want it he can get it. He knows how to get in touch with Dana, he knows how to get the contract set, and he really don’t want to fight. I’m not saying he should want to fight because I’m not a little dude. I ain’t Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is not a welterweight. He did not do well at welterweight because he was undersized and these dudes are real gorillas in this weight class.”
“If him and his coach John Kavanagh and everybody think that Conor can do well against me and they gas this dude up – you know, he’s a dope fighter but there’s levels to this. When you start going up, it’s like me going up to 205 and challenging guys at that weight. When you come up to this weight brother, it’s real power, it’s real people that will put real hands on you, that’ll put you down to the canvas and you will not get up unless I let you up.
“So if you want to get in there with a lion and get your head bit off and have me spewing your blood all over the octagon while you’ve got that goofy tiger tattoo on your chest, looking like a clown with a clown on your chest, we can do it. We can do it in Ireland, Dublin, we can do it in the back of White Castle, I don’t care. But just know, I ain’t that guy. I don’t like to try and act overly hood or overly ghetto, a million hood stripes, but where I’m from you don’t call me a bitch, number one. Number two, you don’t fake like you’re about that life. If you want to scrap, if you want to make this money, let’s do it. If you don’t, shut your mouth. Just do your thing.”
“I want you guys to realize this about me, I’m not one of those guys that’s trying to position myself off Conor. I actually got no beef with Conor. He doing his thing, he’s getting what he want to get out of the game and I’m getting what I wanna get out of the game. But it’s a few people that you can step to with that BS and it can slide, I just so happen to not be one of those guys.
“I ain’t trying to build myself off Conor. I’ve got legendary ideas about my career. I want to be a great. There’s about four or five more people I’ve got to beat to solidify that position and that’s my focus and that’s my goal. If he wants to be a stumbling block that gets me to there faster, so be it.”
McGregor is taking some time off until May, for the birth of his first child. The only MMA fight he expressed any interest in is vs. Woodley, or the winner of the Woodley vs. Wonderboy rematch. He has been silent about featherweight, and dismissed the #1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov as a “pull out merchant.” The sole fight he has expressed genuine interest in is vs. Floyd Mayweather, in boxing.