Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Tyron Woodley believes you don't need to satisfy mixed martial arts (MMA) fans in order to earn a division title shot.
He might want to check with Dana White on that one.
It seems the promotion president flat-out told Stipe Miocic he wasn't going to get a crack at the crown until he became "more popular" with the fans. After all, fans buy tickets and purchase pay-per-view (PPV) events and well, this is a business.
A transcription from his conversation with Submission Radio:
If Stipe had a chat with Dana over the phone to find out what he needs to do to get a title shot:
"Yeah, I need to get more popular. I wasn't popular enough and so it's pretty much, I gotta get popular."
How is Stipe is planning on getting more popular:
"I don't know. I mean it must be like a High School thing, you know? I mean that's pretty much what it was. So I mean, I gotta go out there and keep beating ass."
Stipe's thoughts on Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem likely to have a title shot over him and if it's frustrating that his shot is a bit further away now:
"It is, but like I said, those guys are popular. I'm not."
Miocic can endear himself to fans with a "Big" finish next month in Ireland (details). That's where the 13-2 heavyweight battles longtime veteran (and master of the post-fight laugh) Ben Rothwell, who also looks to lay claim to the 265-pound throne (if and when it ever gets decided).
Then again, that may depend on the outcome of this.