Ever since he became UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley has been pursuing a fight against Georges St-Pierre, but it appears that is no longer his goal.
Woodley has long talked about becoming the greatest welterweight fighter of all time, but the road to get there would seemingly force him to go through St-Pierre to make that claim.
With an incredible resume in the division, not to mention the all-time record for title defenses with nine, it’s understandable why St-Pierre is held in such high regard when it comes to his history at 170 pounds.
Unfortunately, for all the time that Woodley put into chasing St-Pierre, he’s never landed the fight and at this stage in his career, he’s convinced it’s probably never going to happen.
Add to that, Woodley no longer feels like his legacy has to be attached to a win over St-Pierre because he’s putting together an immaculate resume of his own, including his second-round submission over previously undefeated contender Darren Till from UFC 228 on Saturday night.
“It’s always appealed to me,” Woodley said about fighting St-Pierre at the UFC 228 post fight press conference. “But I’m not going to keep calling out a guy that’s already had nine title defenses, ran over the division, he stepped away from the sport, he came back, he made it very obvious that he wanted to fight certain types of fights and it didn’t look like he wanted to fight me.
“At one point, I thought I needed to beat him to be the greatest because who’s going to say he’s not the greatest welterweight of all time? He beat the best welterweights in the world. It wasn’t like he was just running through guys that was horrible. He was beating stud after stud after stud, and he really separated himself from everybody else. So I watched him do that for so long and I always envisioned fighting him and I always envisioned beating him. I told myself I had to beat him to be the greatest, but I don’t.”
The way Woodley sees it now is that he’s been taking on a new breed of mixed martial artist that has really developed over the past few years, while St-Pierre was on sabbatical from the sport.
While St-Pierre returned last year to become the UFC middleweight champion with a win over Michael Bisping, Woodley feels like the current crop of fighters are a completely different level of athlete and beating them is all he needs to do to secure his place as the best of all time.
“This sport is different,” Woodley explained. “These guys are better. They’re more well-rounded, they punch hard, they’re faster, and they’ve been training at a younger age. It’s not a wrestler who just learned how to punch. Everybody can do everything now. So I think the fact that I’ve been able to beat the last specialists in the game, beat the up and coming rising star, beat Robbie Lawler, who’s one of the most vicious fighters we’ve ever seen, with two title fights that I think are probably in the top 10 of title fights of all time.
“It don’t take much more to solidify that spot.”
Still, Woodley won’t deny that a fight with St-Pierre would still interest him, but he’s not going to waste his time calling out a fighter who seemingly has no interest in facing him.
“If he wants to fight me, of course I’m going to fight Georges St-Pierre,” Woodley stated. “I just don’t think he has to, I don’t think he has any interest in it, and I’m kind of over it at this point.”
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