Israel Adesanya seems like a nice guy, but the undefeated UFC middleweight champion just can’t avoid conflict with other UFC superstars. From his ongoing feud with UFC light heavyweight king Jon Jones to his new found beef with former 170-pound titleholder Tyron Woodley, “Last Stylebender” is creating potential super fights at a rapid rate.
While Adesanya’s ongoing spat with a “broke” Woodley started from a few simple Twitter posts the feud seems to be heating up heading into the second half of 2020. The only issue right now is the fact that Woodley remains an active fighter in the UFC’s welterweight division with plans to clean out the weight class.
Luckily for fight fans, Woodley is doubling down on his wish to one day move up to 185 pounds and meet Adesanya for the middleweight title.
“In addition to trying to stay ‘rona free, I’m trying to stay f*ckboy free too, and it seems like there’s a lot of that going on in the UFC,” Woodley told TMZ Sports.
“Israel Adesanya, we can start with him because he’s probably got the most juice right now out of all the fighters. . . So the question that was posed to me - and it’s been asked many, many times - would I ever move up to go to middleweight? And my answer is yes. My answer’s gonna be yes whether Israel’s f*cking sitting next to me, it’s gonna be yes whether Dana asks me, or a f*cking person from around the corner, Sam sausage-head from the alley. No matter who asks me, I’m gonna say yes because if you want to be one of the best fighters on Earth, you have to fight the best. Many fighters have bumped up weight classes, dropped down weight classes, and shuffle around to prove that they’re the baddest man alive. They’ve done it in boxing, they’ve done it in mixed martial arts, you see that theme that fighters are trying to attack that double belt in the UFC. So of course.
“How many times have I said that Israel Adesanya, he’s a stud, he’s a star, and given him kudos? A lot. So I think he took it personal. He’s really sensitive and when somebody starts getting in their feelings - I had the same situation with Robbie Lawler - that means there’s a little b*tch in the blood, and now I want to test it out.”
Woodley, who lost his UFC welterweight title to Kamaru Usman back at UFC 235, hasn’t competed inside of the Octagon in over 14 months. However, “Chosen One” remains one of the most dangerous fighters on the UFC roster. Prior to his recent title loss, Woodley had compiled a 7-1-1 record inside of the cage. That includes four title fight victories and wins over the likes of Stephen Thompson, Kelvin Gastelum, Demian Maia, Darren Till, and former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.
Indeed, Woodley would create some issues for “Last Stylebender” if the two ever fought.
“When I look at Israel Adesanya, I got to look at his weakness. And his weakness may not be something that we’ve seen exploited, but it’s something that he’s protecting,” Woodley said. “It’s a reason why he fights so hard after getting taken down, it’s a reason why he wants to keep the fight standing: because that’s what he does best. But look at the fight against Kelvin Gastelum. Kelvin Gastelum, for much of that fight, was winning. I don’t know if you recall when I fought Kelvin ‘Fatselum’ but I fought him when he was at middleweight and I was at welterweight and my fight didn’t look nothing like that. I came out there, face clean, broke my foot in the first round, and I made pretty easy work of Kelvin Gastelum. That was a Fight of the Year candidate. That tells me that if I’m a better striker than Gastelum, I punch harder than Gastelum, I’m a better wrestler than Gastelum, I have a better I.Q. than Gastelum and I can be - you’ve got to think about me taking you down, you’ve got to think about me knocking you out, you’ve got to think about me submitting you, you’ve got to think about me making you miss, you’ve got to think about my explosiveness. I’m gonna give you so many things to think about and he’s already sensitive, and he’s already in his feelings, so I feel confident about the fight.”
Woodley, who was close to meeting fellow welterweight contender Colby Covington in a makeshift main event back in March, currently does not have his return fight booked. The 38-year-old will likely take one more stab at reclaiming his 170-pound title, but that doesn’t mean “Chosen One” isn’t already prepared to battle Adesanya.
“Israel, quit being a little b*tch, quit being whiny,” Woodley concluded. “If you ever want to do it, you know how to get in touch with me. I ain’t hard to find.”