UFC president Dana White and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley do not see eye to eye in all regards. Woodley believes the UFC promotes him insufficiently and cites potential racial causes. White says any lack of media focus on Woodley is due the fighter’s sometimes fan-unfriendly fighting style and sometimes fan-unfriendly persona on social media.
Often too, the pair’s instincts and beliefs synch. For example, recently White and Woodley good-naturedly called each other drama queen while taking a selfie. And both White and Woodley were asked about the intense crowd booing of the UFC 209 main event, and both suggested the fans try getting in the Octagon to deepen and broaden their understanding and appreciation of the sport.
However, prior to UFC 209, White had offered Woodley some advice.
“If that’s what you want people to focus on, is what a stud champion you are, then go in there and finish it on Saturday night,” said White. “No one will be questioning you whatsoever.”
There was no finish Saturday night, and White made his opinion clear. Further, he said he thought Wonderboy won the fight. During an interview with TMZ, Woodley was not impressed.
“Dana White thought I won the first fight but he didn’t publicly come out and say he thought I won the first fight, so I thought it was a bit distasteful for the promoter to say he thought [Thompson] won the fight,” said Woodley, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “That’s like me coming out and saying as a fighter that I don’t think he didn’t do a good job of promoting the fight. Which I don’t. I don’t think they’ve done a good job of promoting me as champion.
“Have you ever heard of a commissioner going off on a [judge] for — ‘Oh man, he should have never awarded that 10-8 round.’ Have you ever heard that before? Why in my fight would the person do that when, in fact, the 10-8 round did not fix the outcome at all. The person that gave the 10-8 was the person that gave the draw. So why would we be making such a huge travesty on that? They should have did that in New York.
“I’m going to just fall back. I’m going to do my thing. But God damn, I’m going to be a tough dude to deal with.”
“Tyron Woodley came out and said he was going to destroy Thompson and there would be no question he was the champ,” said White. “Well guess what? There’s questions again.
“Let me tell you what…when you have a performance like you did at 209 and you get booed for 5 straight rounds and then people are booing so loud you can’t even do your interview, you should probably just take your lumps and move on. Get your next fight as fast as you can and try to put that performance behind you.”
“There’s one guy around here who calls the shots and as soon as you learn that, the better off you’ll be.”