FanPost

The reason I DON'T consider Woodley then clear NO.1 contender, but DO think he deserves the next shot.

It's not so much that Woodley didn't beat Condit, but more that the way he beat Condit didn't make him the clear NO.1 contender. I consider this injury TKO victory to be different even than the Weidman vs Silva leg kick. Simply because an injury off of a take down is not an attack that Woodley can ever threaten another fighter with again. There simply is no way you can claim that as a weapon. Sure, Woodley has great take downs, and he might even be able to hurt/injure a fighter in the process of a take down again. However, if you look at what Woodley was doing once he got the take down, I think it's pretty clear that he was in Condit's world and was unable to impose any part of his ground attack on Condit. A take down is only worth something if a fighter can a) injure the other fighter in the process, or b) use the take down to impose a fighter's own game and/or inflict damage. If you take a fighter down and then do nothing other than hold on and avoid multiple submission and sweep attempts, then the take down is worth nothing other than the points it scores in this messed up, current system of judging.

Did Woodley deserve the 'W'? Absolutely. Did he fight a good fight up until the TKO? Definitely. Did he prove himself to be the number one contender in the process? Not clearly. Woodley hasn't proven himself to be particularly dangerous once he has a fighter on the mat. His wrestling is great and he can get almost any fighter on the ground, but once the fight hits the ground, Woodley's take downs seldom count for much more than the points they score. Woodley hasn't shown that he can seriously threaten top level fighters from on top. Whether it be with a submission, GnP, or even just advancing position, IMO! My point being, that Woodley can threaten most fighters with good wrestling/take down skills but he can't claim the injury that he caused in the process to be a weapon from his arsenal of attacks. Yes there is an extremely small chance that he could do it again, but his chances are no better than any other fighter's of injuring an opponent mid take down. While I consider the 'check' that Weidman used on Silva to be a legitimate weapon (even though it very rarely amounts to a broken shin bone!), I don't consider Woodley's method of victory to be a weapon that can be consciously, purposely used the way that he was able to use it on this occasion. You can't train for it, you can't take credit for it necessarily, but you can most definitely call it a victory.

So while I do think that Woodley won and I do believe he deserved the victory, I don't think he made it clear that he's the guy that deserves the next shot. I wanted to see more from him than I got to. I think Woodley's stand up game looked much improved and very threatening to any fighter in the division but I can't say the same for his ground game or his wrestling. The way I saw the fight, I don't believe Woodley is even close to being a good enough wrestler to take and keep Hendricks on the ground. He may be able to knock Hendricks out, or even out strike him and I think that is where Woodley proved himself to be a threat. The way Woodley won his fight is not the same way that he is dangerous as a fighter and a contender. He can't consciously use the take down the way he did with Condit to beat a fighter. For me, the only part of Woodley's game that is going to threaten Hendricks, is his HUGE right hand and not his take downs, as he can never again purposely TKO a fighter via injury.

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