Woodley Still Has Eye on GSP, Diaz Superfights
Tyron Woodley is not too thrilled about his upcoming fight against Demian Maia on Saturday at UFC 214. For the current welterweight champion, coming out victorious in his third title defense will not do much for his career.
“It’s one step, but it’s not a huge step, to be honest,” Woodley said during Monday’s pre-fight conference call (via MMA Junkie). “Obviously there’s a guy named Georges St-Pierre that’s out there talking about still fighting. There’s other welterweights like Nick Diaz, who is, in my opinion, a lineal top 10, top 5 welterweight. There’s other fights and other things that could make me the greatest welterweight.”
Woodley has always felt that Maia is not exactly at par with the names he had mentioned, in terms of how it affects his legacy as a champion. Especially since he plans to have a lengthy reign as champion, like how St-Pierre and Matt Hughes did during their respective stints as welterweight champion.
“The way that I go out there and fight guys, I could open up a little bit more and let guys have it. I possess all the tools and all the skills and explosiveness and conditioning,” Woodley said. “Sometimes it’s the way I fight opponents that could get me in that position. I think this will be a step forward.”
“It won’t be a huge, long jump, but it will be a step forward. And I’m in it for the long haul. I’m not trying to win two or three fights and get out of this. I’m trying to grow as a champion and grow into a superstar.”
Woodley and Maia will be co-headlining the July 29th card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. It is the second of three title fights of the night, which features the women’s 145-pound championship match between Cris Cyborg and Tonya Evinger, and the light heavyweight grudge rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones.