Tyron Woodley is getting ready for another fight ... even though he's not sure exactly when or who it will be against. The Welterweight champion surprised many of his fans earlier today when he announced that he was kicking off another training camp, a mere month after his less than stellar rematch against Stephen Thompson at UFC 209.
#TRAININGCAMP Starts #Today The next time I set foot in the #Octagon it will be 4 Title Fights in 12months. Starting with the Spirit, Mind, Soul and the Body will catch up. The fight outside the Cage has always proven to be tougher then the one inside. Time to win on both ends! @ufc #ufc #ChampCamp #AndStill #WhoGotMyBack !
"Training camp starts today!" he declared on social media. "The next time I set foot in the Octagon it will be 4 Title Fights in 12 months. Starting with the Spirit, Mind, Soul and the Body will catch up. The fight outside the cage has always proven to be tougher then the one inside. Time to win on both ends!"
To fit a fourth fight into a 12-month span, Woodley will have to compete on UFC 213’s fight card, which is the culmination of International Fight Week on July 8th. In an interview with BJPenn.com, Woodley confirmed that's what he's aiming for.
"You know the UFC doesn’t have that many stars," he said. "They have a lot of great fighters, but as far as actual stars there is not very many of them in the UFC. So with that said, I think that I am one of the guys that is right on the cusp of breaking through and becoming that star. And I think the UFC will put their heavy hitters on that card (UFC 213). I don’t know exactly what they have planned, but I talked to Dana not to long ago and he asked me when I want to fight and I told him that I want to fight then (July 8). So with that said, I think that is going to be a go. That is what we are shooting for.”
That certainly sounds less than definite. It also doesn't give much time for the winner of the Demian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal fight at UFC 211 to get ready. After all, that fight is a No. 1 title eliminator match, isn't it? Although these days I suppose being the top-ranked contender and getting a title shot are two completely different things. Woodley certainly doesn't seem to consider the winner of that fight a lock as his next opponent.
“An opponent is not really defined," he continued in his BJPenn.com interview. "There is some welterweight bouts going on, but man it is a crazy sport right now. I don’t really feel confined to just fighting the number one contender. I am not going to be the only weight class in the UFC that has to stay true to that old rule set. When everyone is showing us that, you know, that the game is really wide open for giving the fans the fights they want to see.
"Why would I not try and produce a fight with (Michael) Bisping or Nick or Nate Diaz, Georges St-Pierre and Conor McGregor,” he continued. “Those guys are my first options right now."
None of those options sound particularly likely at this moment, but with WME-IMG needing a headline fight with some mainstream “oomph” for its flagship summer event, who knows what kind of crazy ideas could be considered? Michael Bisping did an impressive job maneuvering his way into a big money fight with St-Pierre over the past several months. Woodley making himself ready for UFC 213 seems like a similar play ... one that has a better chance of being successful than just complaining that UFC doesn't support him the way they should.