Welterweight contender Tyrone Woodley believes something is wrong with the UFC’s 170-pound division. It is a division where anything is possible, particularly since the departure of longtime kingpin Georges St-Pierre has made way for a whole new generation of elite fighters.
That is Woodley’s problem: Anything might be possible, but according to him, nothing is really happening.
On the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour”, when asked about the somewhat lackluster fight between fellow welterweight Matt Brown and former champion Johny Hendricks at UFC 185, “T-Wood” responded:
“I’m tired of this, man,” he laments. “It’s at the point where I don’t want to sound like I’m whining and complaining, but why do we have a rankings system? You have a no. 5 welterweight whose fought back-to-back no. 1 contender fights and has never beaten a top 10 welterweight ever. [Brown] beat Erick Silva and he beat Jordan Mein, which are tough guys. I’m taking nothing from those guys, but they’re not top 10. They’re not Tarec Saffiedine, Paul Daley, [Josh] Koscheck, Carlos Condit. They’re not Dong Hyun Kim, whose beaten Matt Brown. They’re not Kelvin Gastelum, who they said will fight for a world title if he beat me. […] How does a no. 5 ranked fighter fight the no. 1 guy and I don’t fight the no. 1 guy?”
After the unanimous decision victory over Brown, it is very likely that Johny Hendricks will get another shot at the welterweight title, either against current champion Robbie Lawler or in a rematch against Rory MacDonald. Both will fight at UFC 189. However, Woodley thinks it’s doesn’t make sense to give Hendricks a rematch so soon.
“Think about Robbie Lawler,” he argues. “He lost to Johny within the last 90 seconds. What’d he have to do to get another title shot? He had to fight Jake Ellenberger and he had to fight Matt Brown. He had two fights in between, so why should Johny, who has been in the title fight the last three or four fights of his, why should he get an immediate shot after one win over a top 5 guy who has never beat a top 10 opponent? Let’s be real.”
“The Chosen One” suggested a second problem as well: If Hendricks wants to wait for another title shot, he might be waiting for a long time. Lawler and MacDonald are fighting in four months. It is likely going to be another three or four months before the winner of that fight will be ready to compete again. That makes roughly eight months without a fight for “Bigg Rigg.”
With that being the apparent case, Woodley has a better idea in mind.
“In the meantime, I think Johny should fight me. We got unfinished business from the Big 12 days. I think it’s a great style match-up. Two wrestlers with heavy power, beating a lot of top 10 guys. […] “Let’s be for real,” he says emphatically. “Let’s get this going.”
Woodley would like to do the fight on the same day as Lawler vs. MacDonald, at the UFC 189 card, headlined by Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor. The former Strikeforce champion is actually sidelined with a broken foot right now. It was an injury that he suffered in his last fight against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 183, but according to him, he would be ready by July 11.
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