Shortly after taking the welterweight title from Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 last week, Tyron Woodley was challenged by top contender Stephen Thompson. Surprising many, Woodley shot down Thompson’s challenge and took aim at two “big money” fights with Nick Diaz or Georges St-Pierre.
It now appears that a potential fight with St-Pierre has some legs.
Although Woodley was criticized for sidestepping Thompson, he’s not apologetic about trying to land a bigger fish.
“I don’t have to worry about it,” he said of his critics. “I’m going to get one of those fights. Don’t be surprised if it’s Georges St-Pierre.”
St-Pierre has been talking more and more frequently about returning to the Octagon, and even went so far as to say he was ready following a test training camp that went well. He’s just waiting for his representatives to iron out a deal with the UFC, which could prove complicated now that sponsorship has gotten more complicated with the Reebok uniform deal in place.
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That said, St-Pierre was recently asked by MMAFighting if he was interested in a fight with Woodley. He said yes.
Diaz also recently completed an 18-month suspension for testing positive to marijuana, and could return to the Octagon soon. He also said that he would be interested in fighting Woodley… if the price was right.
Given the two options, Woodley said on UFC Tonight on Wednesday night that he would rather fight St-Pierre.
“If it was the same exact money, I would take Georges,” said Woodley. “I think Georges is a tougher fight. I think he has some of the best MMA wrestling offense that we’ve ever seen in the sport. He has great timing with his takedowns. He has great takedown defense. He’s a well rounded fighter. He’s a true martial artist from the respect aspect.”
St-Pierre is widely regarded as the best welterweight to ever set foot in the Octagon. He’s also, arguably, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. Aside from the money involved, testing himself against one of the best fighters in the world would play a significant factor in his decision.
“To say that I’m the best in the world, and I get a chance to fight the best in the world, and I don’t take that option; I can never walk around with this belt and believe that I’m the best welterweight on planet Earth if I don’t compete against Georges St-Pierre,” he added.
“It’s more of a personal thing. This guy is a great champion. I’ve looked up to him for so long. And I’m gonna make the most money, so two birds with one stone.”