Woodley Wants GSP
Speaking recently with Sports Illustrated, the welterweight champ says he wants the next headline about him to read: “Tyron Woodley is going up to middleweight to face Georges St-Pierre if he beats Michael Bisping.”
Woodley wants this because it would give him a chance to establish himself as the greatest welterweight of all time and cap off the best run in the history of the welterweight division.
“I wanted to fight one more time, I was being greedy. I wanted to go out here and beat [Demian Maia] and I wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre in November in New York City. This would’ve been the greatest year competitively, and after I beat Georges, there is no question that I’ll be Fighter of the Year. I fight five title fights in 18 months and beat the greatest welterweight of all time, nobody has done anything like that in our sport. . .My brother-in-law just asked me [who I’m fighting next] and I said you know what, if he wins I’m going up there to fight him cause you can’t keep running from me.”
St-Pierre who dominated the welterweight division until retired with the belt in 2013, is set to make his return at UFC 217 where he will challenge Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title. If St-Pierre wins, he will be only the fourth person in UFC history to have won belts in two divisions; but if he loses, St-Pierre may possibly retire from the sport for good. If GSP walks away from the game again, it leaves Woodley without his dream fight and money left on the table. Woodley says that would not be his favorite option but in the end, he would be happy to fight whoever wins that fight, even if it is Bisping.
“I would fight Bisping as well, to be honest. I’m not just saying I want to move up to middleweight because at welterweight I’m a larger size and I feel comfortable at the weight. I have no issues making it, it’s not easy but I always get it done…To fight Bisping or Georges, I’d love fight either one. But mainly I want to fight Georges.”
Robert Whittaker just won the interim UFC middleweight championship and will in theory would be the next challenger for with the winner of St-Pierre vs. Bisping. Woodley brushes that idea that off,
“There is no such thing as a stipulation, you’re a sub-contract worker. You’re not obligated or required to do anything. What about when Johny Hendricks was the clear-cut winner and it was time for him to fight for the title and he got passed over by Nick Diaz who lost to Carlos Condit? It’s a game of what fight makes money, that’s all it is… There is no No. 1 contender, I’ve fought them all, right? At the end of the day, you don’t get rewarded for beating someone whose claim is the No. 1 contender, the No. 1 guy outside the champion. There is no reward for that. . .
But guys can go out and fight guys that aren’t even in their weight class, aren’t even ranked in the top-10. Bisping’s last fight against Dan Henderson, was Dan Henderson even in the top-15 at the time? Conor fought Nate Diaz at 170 and neither one of those guys are true 170-pounders. It’s not a matter of No. 1 contendership anymore. It’s a matter of money and business.”
One has to wonder if Woodley will be trusted by White with the position to fight GSP or Bisping, following their issues over Woodley’s performance in the Maia fight, but if he can stand up to two of the greatest, it may get him that “Fighter of the Year” award he craves.