In addition to Demetrious Johnson and Jessica Eye, the third guest as part of the UFC Fight Club Q&A in Chicago on Friday, was the 10th ranked Welterweight in the UFC, Tyron “T-Wood” Woodley who will be taking on Carlos Condit in the co-main event of UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas.
Asked to comment about the departure of long-time welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre, and if it would mean that all the other welterweights have a better chance to win the title, Woodley responded with a strong confidence in his abilities saying,
“GSP being there, he was never seen to me as an unbeatable foe. He was never seen as somebody that was sitting on a division that was unbeatable. So when he left it really didn’t change anything for me, my path is to be the champion, anybody in my path it’s my job to destroy them. So for me, he was at the end of my path, now if it’s Johny Hendricks or Robbie, somebody’s at the end of the path. It’s not the person, it’s the status, it’s about being a champion, it’s about having the status of being the best in the world. He was in that position, but to me it didn’t change when he left because to me he was never unbeatable. I visualized that fight a million times and I visualized myself winning that fight.”
Woodley did go on to compliment the former welterweight champion, adding “If that’s his choice (to retire), that’s his choice. He’s done great things in the sport, probably one of the greatest champions we’ve had in the last 10 years. He did wonders for the sport, and if this is his choice, this is his choice.”
As for his upcoming opponent at UFC 171, Carlos Condit, T-Wood sees it as his toughest test to date: “I didn’t want this fight because I thought it was easy and it was a push over, (I did want it because) I’m actually a fan of Condit. I like watching him fight, he brings it every time. This kid, you never can count him out, second round he looks like he’s about to get finished and he comes off the stool and he comes to win.” Woodley said. ”For me, I need these types of bouts, I need the bout with Josh Koscheck cause he was going to force me to use the tools that god gave me. And I think Carlos Condit is going to be my toughest test. So I’m looking forward to it. My strategy is to be the best Tyron Woodley I can be, and if I come out there like a ball of fire, I think a hard right hand to any welterweight and I’ll put ‘em on the ground. I think I’m going to get a chance to test his chin, and I think I’m going to get a chance to test his cardio that everybody’s talked about. I think I’m the new generation of the sport and I’ll prove it.”
With a close split decision loss to Jake Shields sandwiched between two spectacular knockouts (of Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron), Tyron Woodley looks to be one victory away—especially given that potential victory would be over #2 ranked welterweight, Carlos Condit—from earning his first UFC title shot. Being in the co-main event of a card headlined by the UFC welterweight title fight, it would seem logical that the winner of this fight be perfectly set-up to fight the winner of Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler.
“I think it’s a fight with a lot of fireworks, both of those guys come off and there’s no question they’re trying to take your head off. I think they both got good wrestling, good hands, I think you guys are in for a treat.” Woodley said of the welterweight title fight between Lawler and Hendricks.
When asked to make a prediction Woodley didn’t name a fighter, but had this to say, “I don’t know man, Robbie’s been around for a long time. He’s definitely leading the pack right now, got great wrestling, good power. He’s been in some tough, valid matches lately, but Robbie man since he’s dropped down to 170, he’s been on a tear. This is the first time in a while, you see two guys that are both coming up at the same time, they’re both equally hungry and are going to meet each other. Just whoever lands that hard blow first is probably going to win.”