Woodley Wants Diaz & GSP Over Maia
When Demian Maia beat Jorge Masvidal at UFC 211 on Saturday, UFC boss Dana White finally promised the Brazilian legend the title shot that has long eluded him. Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, however, has his own plans for what is next and they may not include Maia.
Speaking to ESPN after UFC 211, Woodley said that he is pursuing fights against returning legends Georges St. Pierre and Nick Diaz rather than Maia.
"I think those fights are way more real than you guys realize,” Woodley said of St-Pierre and Diaz. “I was teasing everyone for several weeks, but that wasn’t for giggles. Those are realistic options that could make Demian Maia take a back seat for a little bit."
Woodley’s first two title defenses came against karate specialist Stephen Thompson, the first being ruled a draw in November and the second an extremely underwhelming Woodley victory in March. The champion says that he is ready to prepare for a more conventional fighter, but Maia represents another interesting case of a fighter with elite strengths in one area – jiu jitsu.
"He is one of the last specialists in the UFC. He and Stephen Thompson are two of the last specialists in the sport and they just so happen to be in my weight class, right near the top. Training for Wonderboy’s karate, two times in a row — they were the most annoying camps of my life. He’s so good at what he does.
"I was a little frustrated with people at the FOX studios this weekend. They were laughing and jumping on my back like Maia does in fights. When I fight these specialists, I can’t be free in camp. I can’t be free in a fight. I can’t fight the way I normally would against a traditional, freestyle fighter. Now, I might have to go back to a similar training camp."