Welcome to Midnight Mania! Tonight, we’ve got Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley claiming Georges St-Pierre wants no part of a fight with him, continued Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw drama, Brad Pickett being ridiculous, Tom Duquesnoy’s debut fight announced, Stephen Thompson and Tony Ferguson making a contest out of anything, knockouts, podcasts, highlights, and much more.
Woodley recently stated on ESPN.com that he’s not holding his breath for the “Rush” return. He also has some choice words for his opponent this weekend at UFC 209, which takes place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this Saturday night (March 4, 2017), Stephen Thompson.
"Let's not get it twisted, part of the reason he left the sport was concussions," Woodley told ESPN's Five Rounds podcast on Monday. "He doesn't seem to be extremely thrilled to get in there with somebody that can punch him to the point of getting dropped and suffering a concussion -- an ugly, grueling fight.
Woodley believes that his power and his wrestling prowess would make the match up unpalatable for the former 170-pound kingpin. Hendricks agrees. He says GSP should have stayed retired after he, Big Rigg, exposed St. Pierre.
"I'm a guy who makes that fight for him. I have the highest takedown defense in the entire welterweight division, maybe the second-highest on the UFC roster. It's going to be very hard for him to take me down and keep me down."
However, if Thompson were to beat him, it would be another story.
"I think they want to see how this fight plays out. If 'Wonderboy' comes up with a victory, I think we'll see him try to fight 'Wonderboy.' [Thompson] has a crazy style and he has knocked guys out, but how many times has he stood in the pocket and just thrown heavy leather [and] let them damn UFC gloves fly and knock somebody out? Never."
Thompson, however, doesn’t want to fight a friend.
Woodley also spoke about how GSP matched up with Michael Bisping and other possible match ups, explaining why he’s a tougher out than the Middleweight champ.
"Bisping knows he's not the best middleweight. He's just a guy who is tough, seized his moment and became the champion of the world. There's nothing bad about that, but those are way better options for [St-Pierre] than fighting somebody like me, who has been looking at him for many years, is a better wrestler, punches harder and has been more active in the last three years."
Woodley is probably right about St-Pierre having better options than himself. Bisping isn’t one of them, though. I’ve beat this drum before, but Anderson Silva is the best option for St-Pierre in terms of both name value and career arc. Fans have been wanting to see that fight for years. It has a proven storyline, two aging fighters with huge names coming together in a long overdue fight for legacy and legend. It is the one fight UFC can put together not involving Conor McGregor that is a guaranteed one million pay-per-view (PPV) buys ... and it doesn’t even involve any interim belts. How grand.
Woodley goes on to cite other options for St-Pierre upon his return, complaining about how fans perceive him compared to how they perceive other fighters, which is something that has been a running theme with him lately:
"It's funny, Conor McGregor can talk about fighting Georges. Nate [Diaz] can talk about fighting Georges. Nick [Diaz] can talk about fighting Georges. Bisping can talk about fighting Georges. I talk about fighting Georges, the whole world goes, 'Oh, he's running. He's picking opponents. What about Demian Maia? Take care of business and defend your title this many times and then you deserve it.' How many title defenses did Bisping have before he picked Dan Henderson and fought him in his hometown?"
To be fair, Bisping has received his fair share of criticism for facing Dan Henderson and then opting for knee surgery immediately following, while the Middleweight division’s contenders pile up.
One can’t deny Woodley talks a fine game these days. See him take it to Thompson on every level here:
Bobs and Weaves
Tony Ferguson and the bear-wrestler, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is hands down the most compelling match up on UFC 209’s entire fight card this weekend. It is almost impossible to predict over five rounds.
February 28, 2017
Ferguson and Thompson, who each have not lost a fight since 2013 and 2012, respectively, are competitive by nature:
The drama between Garbrandt and Dillashaw has embroiled Dillashaw’s former coach Justin Buckholz, who claims he has the mythical footage of Garbrandt knocking out the former Bantamweight champion in training.
.@MMAFighting @TJDillashaw @ufc @JustinBuchholz I don't want to put it out there, just say it happened Tj and it all can be easier for you! pic.twitter.com/8dQqZUjch5— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) February 28, 2017
What is Brad Pickett doing?
What do you call this @One_Punch ♂️ pic.twitter.com/FMXYfDv0Ub— Marc Diakiese (@Marc_Diakiese) March 1, 2017
Speaking of things I can’t take seriously ...
Check out this sick custom #UFC209 poster that I made, RT plz. pic.twitter.com/ERQAAuVpzE— JustBleedMMA (@JustBleedMMA) February 28, 2017
The original UFC poster was probably the least creative in a long time. Here are some better ones advertising this weekend’s action, with UFC 209 right at the center:
Live Combat Sport Schedule: 3/3 - 3/5.https://t.co/QQjV0vMc7X pic.twitter.com/8Vj2nD7z6q— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 27, 2017
The Fire Kid, two-weight BAMMA world champion, of fruit-smashing fame, has his UFC debut fight scheduled:
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Patrick Williams at UFC FN Kansas City on April 15th. Good debut opponent for the Fire Kid to showcase some violence. https://t.co/j3t4vckppc— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 28, 2017
Slips, Rips and KO Clips
Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem — I cannot wait.
MARK HUNT K-1 HL #UFC209 pic.twitter.com/FalNJd7MAf— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 28, 2017
The best knockouts from the artists on the UFC 209 card:
This is an amazing flying knee.
Oh Shoji, where have you gone? pic.twitter.com/N9jhTuUcst— MEGATON (@BasedDongeezus) February 28, 2017
February 27, 2017
- Benson Henderson is getting rid of his signature toothpicks, but he has a good reason.
- Read Andrew Richardson’s technical preview of Lando Vannata and David Teymur’s action scrap on the main card of UFC 209.
- Derrick Lewis wants Mark Hunt next, but would be open to Francis Ngannou. I would be okay with either.
- Video: Rampage Jackson says Travis Browne ripped him off back in the day!
Podcasts and Video
Jack Slack’s podcast -- or “poddy” as he calls it -- Fights Gone By:
The Severe MMA podcast, with Sean and Graeme:
MMAMania.com’s own UFC 209 Preview:
MMAmania.com’s Flyin’ Brian J’s breakdown of Khabib vs. Ferguson:
Eat dirt, Saenchai.
Check out this awesome gif of an Eurasian Jay totally pulling a matrix move on a Sparrowhawk.. Source: BBC One - The HuntPosted by Hotspot Birding on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
The luckiest goal of all time has been scored tonight... pic.twitter.com/KGWLe0DfUn— Dirty Footballer (@DirtyFootbaIIer) February 28, 2017
Me every night writing this column
Every time I'm forced to do something pic.twitter.com/x98WjAKx0Z— Bro Logics (@BroLogics) February 28, 2017
Stay woke, Maniacs!
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