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Tyron Woodley wants to clean out UFC welterweight division, retire as a middleweight

UFC 205: Press Conference Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

There was a time when current Ultimate fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley was only looking for big name fights that would bring him the most money. Some, like Colby Covington and Rafael dos Anjos, questioned “The Chosen One’s” desire to actually step up to face them inside the Octagon.

But now that Woodley is at full health following shoulder surgery, he is ready to defend his strap and he doesn’t really care who is standing across from him.

“I’m not really concerned with who’s ready, who’s next,” Woodley told MMA Junkie recently. “You’ve got to realize there are certain rights you deserve as a champion. When I’m ready to fight, now it’s time to fight. Whoever they got for me to fight at this time, come get this work. I don’t want to sit back and say, ‘Oh, I want to sit and wait to see what happens with this fight.’ I’m the champion. I want to fight.

Of course, Covington and dos Anjos are set to collide this Saturday night (June 9, 2018) at UFC 225 for the interim170-pound strap (details), with the winner getting a shot at Woodley. That is, of course, if Tyron doesn’t face someone else at UFC 227 on Aug. 4, his desired return date.

“Some of these bouts should’ve taken place anyway, maybe not with the label of interim title. But I think at that point, you make a fight. Even if it’s somebody that’s not currently in the division. Maybe it’s Nate, maybe it’s Georges. Maybe it’s somebody else. But I’m also willing to fight all these other guys.”

For Woodley, facing everyone in front of him is all about his quest to clean out the division in order to steal the title of greatest welterweight of all time from Georges St-Pierre, who defended the title nine times.

“I kind of want to legitimately clean the division,” Woodley said. “I wouldn’t mind fighting RDA, Colby, USman, Till, and at that point, unless another prospect emerges, I’ve cleaned out the division. And I’m the greatest welterweight of all time at that point. And then it’s time to go up to 185, and I want that belt. I want to finish off my division. When it’s all said and done, I did everything I could do there. I want to go up and challenge myself once again, and I want to try to win the belt at ’85 and defend there and pretty much retire as a middleweight.”


Should the winner of dos Anjos vs Covington not be ready for a quick turnaround, Kamaru Usman has already called for a shot at Woodley’s belt, so there won’t be a shortage of challengers eager to welcome “The Chosen One” back to the cage.

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