Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Tyron Woodley may have missed out on the UFC 158 sweepstakes after Rory MacDonald fell off the card because of injury, but it's not all bad news as "T-Wood," who signed a new four-fight contract with the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
Since Woodley was unsuccessful in his campaign to replace MacDonald on the card, he has turned his attention to another 170-pounder on the UFC roster, a fighter who once challenged for the welterweight title and recently announced his return to the division, Jake Shields.
Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting reported Woodley's new contract, as well as his desire to fight Shields, on Tuesday's (Feb. 23, 2013) edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV.
Woodley (11-1) is riding high on the heels of a sensational Octagon debut earlier this month. The 30-year-old knocked out Jay Hieron in just 36-seconds for his first stoppage victory since Oct. 2010, announcing himself as a name to watch out for in the welterweight division.
The American Top Team (ATT)-trained product was hoping to fill in for MacDonald against Carlos Condit at UFC 158, but Johny Hendricks replaced "Ares." When Hendricks' place on the card against Jake Ellenberger was left open, Woodley offered his services for that fight as well; however, the UFC opted to go with Nate Marquardt as the replacement.
Shields (27-6-1, 1 NC) last fought in Aug. 2012 at UFC 150, defeating Ed Herman by unanimous decision. The win was later overturned to a "No Contest" by the Colorado State Boxing Commission (CSBC) after Shields tested positive for an undisclosed substance and was suspended six-months as a result.
The former Strikeforce champion has not admitted why he tested positive at the event, choosing to keep quiet on the subject. Shields has only one official victory to his name in the last 2.5 years, a decision over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144.
Shields has fluctuated between the welterweight and middleweight divisions over the past few years, with his most recent fight against Herman taking place at 185 pounds. The 34-year-old is able to find success in both divisions, and it is unknown at this time if he plans on making his next stint at welterweight a permanent one.
While Woodley may be calling out Shields, the feeling isn't mutual ... for now. Helwani reported on "UFC Tonight" that Shields, ideally, would like to fight the winner of Josh Koscheck vs. Robbie Lawler, who face off in the pay-per-view (PPV) opener at UFC 157: "Rousey vs. Carmouche" this Saturday (Feb. 23, 2013) in Anaheim, California.