After watching Rafael dos Anjos defeat Robbie Lawler on Saturday night, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is more that confident that his title isn’t going anywhere.
Woodley was in Winnipeg to witness first hand the fight that was supposed to determine the next contender in the welterweight division as dos Anjos put on a five round clinic to beat Lawler in the main event.
Woodley took nothing away from dos Anjos’ performance as he picked up the biggest win of his career at 170 pounds, but the reigning champion still didn’t see anything all that special that would make him feel threatened if that was his next opponent.
“In my opinion what I saw tonight, if any of those two guys in that bout would fight me, one of those guys is going to get knocked out,” Woodley said on the FS1 post fight show. “I saw the IQ wasn’t as high as I would like for a guy in a No. 1 contendership fight. Both of those guys talked about pushing the pace and they were going to do this and they were going to do that. I saw a ton of openings for myself in both of those fights.
“Obviously, I don’t want to steal the shine. RDA (Rafael dos Anjos) had a great moment, he went out there and did his job. Robbie Lawler’s a very dangerous opponent and he’s knocked out so many different people but just being honest and keeping it 100-percent, I’m the champion for a reason.”
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While Woodley seemed more than confident in his ability to beat dos Anjos, he didn’t try to discredit his win by saying that Lawler was suddenly missing a step after more than 40 professional fights.
That being said, Woodley added that dos Anjos had openings to finish the fight and still couldn’t put Lawler away, which is one of the reasons why he wasn’t ultimately all that impressed by the performance.
“I don’t think Robbie Lawler slowed down. I think his game plan was appropriate but he didn’t come off with the rope-a-dope. He blocked the shots, he had the pressure, but he never came off punching,” Woodley said about Lawler. “I also think RDA had some opportunities in that second round where he was teeing off. During the replay we saw what some of those body shots, he actually saw the shots through.
“If you have someone against the Octagon cage like that in this division of power, you’ve got to take them out.”
As of now, the UFC hasn’t said if dos Anjos is actually going to get the title shot or if they may opt for another opponent like No. 3 ranked Colby Covington, who has gone on a very public campaign to face Woodley next.