Tyron Woodley continued his improbable run as UFC welterweight champion after choking out Darren Till in the second round of UFC 228’s main event. His reign, starting with an unlikely title shot off a split decision win over Kelvin Gastelum, has featured a somewhat rocky relationship with his fight promoters, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, featuring frequent spats with their president Dana White. It seems White was not overjoyed to see 36-year-old Woodley defeat charismatic young Scouser, Till; he didn’t even speak to Woodley after the main event.
Woodley answering Ariel on how to fix his relationship with the promoter: Just keep winning. That's all I gotta do is keep winning.— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) September 9, 2018
Ariel: What did he (Dana) say to you afterwards?
Woodley: I didn't speak to him. I just won. That's what champions do. They win, right?
Woodley has not been the most bankable champion in UFC hiwstory, and as we saw this weekend, that can mean very different treatment from the promoter. Woodley infamously said he has been the worst-treated champion in UFC history. While that may always have been hyperbole- and Nicco Montano would certainly dispute it at this point, among others- the lack of enthusiasm for his fights is not difficult to pick up on. The internet clearly has.
Woodley’s fights have occasionally been boring- his second fight with Stephen Thompson and his bout with Maia were largely staring contests, despite both featuring knockdowns from Woodley- and his fighting style has drawn frustration from fans. However, when he has the right openings, he can put on a show, as he did last night. It’s worth pointing out, he’s not the first fighter to have boring performances focused on counter-striking or wrestling. Anderson Silva interspersed lackluster performances- one of them also against Demian Maia- with brilliant knockouts. Georges St. Pierre was famously frustrating to watch, as he wrestled his opponents. Both of those fighters eventually ‘got over’ with fans, headlining massive Pay-Per-View events. Woodley hasn’t gotten there yet, and it’s possible he never will. But as long as he keeps winning and fighting to the UFC’s schedule, Dana White and company have no choice but to deal with him.
Even if he and Dana White don’t talk.
Enjoy your Sunday, Maniacs!