Dana Questions Woodley’s Willingness to Fight
With Tyron Woodley turning back the challenge of Darren Till back at UFC 228 in December, many have wondered and speculated Woodley’s next defense of the UFC Welterweight Championship.
UFC President Dana White was unable to give an answer to that situation when asked about it at a media scrum the day of the UFC 231 weigh-ins. But he was able to give an answer to what he feels is holding the title, and division, up.
“Woodley. When is Woodley ready to fight anybody ever?” White said. “It took us forever to get him to fight that [Till] fight. Guy never wants to fight. You want to be a world champion, but you don’t want to fight anybody. That’s a problem.”
Despite his win in September, minor injuries have kept Woodley from determining his next fight date, which is expected to be a clash with Colby Covington. Covington defeated Rafael dos Anjos for the interim welterweight title back in June at UFC 225, but a surgical procedure caused him to be not ready for September, which allowed Till to take the title shot.
While White places most of the division’s problems on Woodley, he has made it clear his patience with both Woodley and Covington is just about up.
“You know what happens? The world moves on without you, boys,” White said. “That’s what happens. We’ll see how this thing plays out. Obviously, I’ve got to deal with this down here and I’ll go home Saturday night after the fight and we’ll get this stuff figured out next week.”
A possible placement for a welterweight title fight is next month’s UFC 233 event on Jan. 26. The expected main event featuring champions Henry Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw was pushed up a week to the UFC’s debut card on ESPN+ on Jan. 19. The UFC is searching for a title fight to headline the California pay-per-view event.
With most of the other UFC champions either unable to fight by the time or will have fought too recently by Jan. 26, a welterweight title fight makes the most sense on paper.
But White said with how Woodley is, a 170-pound title fight to headline UFC 233 isn’t a guarantee.
“You have to understand, I know guys like Conor McGregor, I know all the guys behind the scenes,” White said. “Don’t you guys remember the thing when Conor McGregor said, ‘Who needs a thumb? You don’t even need a thumb to fight.’ Conor fought with so many injuries that it’s ridiculous. Even times that Conor doesn’t say it publicly.
“So when you’re used to dealing with guys like that and you get a guy with a thumb, and it’s not just one thing, it’s always something with Woodley.”
Original Story: MMA Fighting