Woodley has been teased as St-Pierre’s opponent when he returned to the UFC for the first time in four years after taking a long sabbatical from the sport.
As the defending 170-pound champion, Woodley wanted nothing more than to face St-Pierre because he is the longest reigning welterweight titleholder in UFC history. Woodley has been on a mission to become the best ever and there was no clearer path toward achieving that than by beating St-Pierre.
Unfortunately, the UFC opted to give St-Pierre a shot at middleweight champion Michael Bisping in November instead. It ultimately didn’t matter for Woodley anyway because he suffered an injury against Maia that pushed back his return to action until a later date.
Still, Woodley has never lost track of his desire to fight St-Pierre and if that means chasing him to 185 pounds that’s exactly what the reigning welterweight champion will do.
“My brother-in-law just asked me that question and I said you know what, if [St-Pierre] wins I’m going up there to fight him cause you can’t keep running from me,” Woodley told Sports Illustrated recently.
Actually, as much as Woodley wants to add St-Pierre’s name to his already impressive resume, he’d be happy to face Bisping as well because becoming a simultaneous two-division champion is the rarest of feats in UFC history.
In fact, Conor McGregor is the only fighter to hold two titles from two different divisions at the same time. Woodley would love to join him in the history making business while also earning a hefty payday.
“I would fight Bisping as well, to be honest,” Woodley said. “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 fighting either one. But mainly I want to fight Georges.”
Of course, in theory, Woodley would be standing behind interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker to face the winner of St-Pierre and Bisping as the UFC is expected to unify the titles next year.
That being said, Woodley knows nothing is guaranteed in life — especially when it comes to title fights in the UFC — so he’s not counting out anything until contracts are signed and the ink is dry.
“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. Some of those fights are going to be close, some of those fights are going to be chess matches. It’s a game of inches. But you don’t get rewarded for that,” Woodley explained.
“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.”