After Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi a few weeks ago, he proved once again the reason(s) he is widely considered to be the most dominant UFC champion ever. His performance drew praise from most of his colleagues (except this one), which naturally produced some callouts, as well.
Among the men who opted to lay down the gauntlet was former UFC Welterweight kingpin, Tyron Woodley. During a recent Q&A in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, "The Chosen One" explained why he called out "The Eagle."
“He’s a beast,” Woodley said (via MMA Fighting). “I just think that right now in my life and my career, I need the impossible. I need the stuff that nobody can do, I need the thing that’s gonna motivate me beyond measure and I think that he provides that.”
Of course, if the fight ever went down, Woodley says it would have to be at a Catchweight because he’s too big to cut down to 155 pounds and Khabib moving up to 170 pounds would put him at a disadvantage.
“Obviously, I could never make 155,” he explained. “I’m already kind of alluding to handling business at Welterweight and going up to Middleweight. It would have to be something at a Catchweight, it would have to be something that he would be interested in.”
Of course, Khabib does cut plenty of weight to hit 155 pounds, so perhaps a Catchweight fight of 160 or 165 against Woodley could level the playing field. And since Woodley is one of the better wrestlers in the game today with legit knockout power, he could pose some serious threats to “The Eagle.”
And after seeing Khabib pretty much run through everyone with such brute force, Woodley says he is eager to know what exactly it feels like to go toe-to-toe with such a dominant and aggressive champion.
“He’s on top of the world right now, I might not even be an option for him,” he said. “It’s more out of respect of what he can do. I know Dustin, he spars Middleweights, Light Heavyweights, and for him to go out there and put on a performance like that against Dustin, I’ve got to see what it feels like.”
Meanwhile, 28 fighters have had the chance to know what it feels like, and they've all left disappointed at the outcome. Woodley has never received any of the “money fights” he's longed for, including bouts against Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre. So the chances of him getting the Khabib fight are pretty slim at the moment.
Especially since Khabib is perhaps the No. 1 targeted guy in mixed martial arts (MMA) at the moment, as Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje want a shot, while Conor McGregor and Poirier want another chance to crack the Dagestani code.
That said, you do miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, so you can’t blame Woodley for shooting his.