UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley is looking to defend his title for the second time tomorrow night (Sat., July 29, 2017) at UFC 214 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., when he takes on submission guru Demian Maia. While many people are stressing the importance of Woodley preparing for a grappling wizard like Maia, the champ believes he will be the combat maestro when the two meet at UFC 214.
“I’m the specialist,” Woodley said during UFC 214’s open workouts media scrum. “I’m the best (expletive) fighter in the welterweight division. I’m the best wrestler. I’m the best boxer. I have the best conditioning. I’m the most explosive. They’re fighting a specialist. I just so happen to specialize in MMA.
“With that said, fighting Demian Maia, fighting Stephen Thompson, I basically just absorb their powers. Things I would have never done in my game, now I’ll do those things against other opponents.”
This may be true. After fighting Thompson to a draw at UFC 205, Woodley reconfigured his training to defeat “Wonderboy” via decision at UFC 209. Considering Thompson is as unique in the striking department as Maia is on the ground, Woodley will be facing a similar situation this weekend at UFC 214. But despite Maia’s overwhelming expertise, Woodley is supremely confident in finishing the Brazilian and sending him off into the sunset.
“This is his shot,” Woodley said. “He said that thing on ‘Embedded’ that really struck a nerve for me. He said, “What better way to go out.’ When you start talking about going out, and you’re fighting me, I’m the type of fighter that’s retired a lot of fighters. Look at Jay Heiron. Look at Andre Galvao. Those are guys that didn’t fight again after they fought me. When you go into this fight thinking this is going to be the crown on top of your career, I’m the wrong guy. I’m not going to let you have access to that. I’m not going to let you get 20 (UFC) wins against me.”
Whether it is Woodley or Maia who escapes UFC 214 with the welterweight championship, the winner will lock down a future title fight with a returning Georges St-Pierre.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 214 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FXX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.