**Exclusive** Woodley to Wonderboy: I’m taking this personal and I’m going to embarrass you.
Earlier today, Tyron Woodley continued his domination of being the subject of MMA news. Initially we saw the silliness that was Conor McGregor puffing his chest out to Woodley. Recently we’ve seen Michael Bisping tell Woodley that he too wants a crack at him. Stephen Thompson has been on social media campaigning for a rematch with the champ, since 5 minutes after their fight. Just to keep people guessing, Woodley send out this tweet to Demian Maia this morning.
— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) January 9, 2017
Woodley is fighting McGregor, Bisping, Maia, and Wonderboy in a Fatal 5-Way steel cage match?!? Sadly no.
It was just made public that Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson will run it back at UFC 209 on March 4. MikeSwick.com was able to get an exclusive interview with the UFC Welterweight Champion of the World moments after the story broke.
What prompted the Maia tweet
“I felt Stephen was acting overly entitled. For someone that’s a challenger, he parades around like he’s the champion. When I was a challenger coming up the ranks and trying to fight my way to the world title; I always showed respect to the guy who had achieved that goal. It’s a big feat and there’s a lot of sacrificing to become a champion. When he was doing all that talking about ‘deserving’ the title… I felt if we’re doing it off of who is the most deserving, let the Maia fight happen then.”
Getting the fans involved in matchmaking
“I put a poll up on Twitter and something on my ‘Daily Champ Life’ video. For the first time in my life, I had a lot of good options. Every option on the table is a fight that I will have in the future. I will fight Bisping, Demian Maia, and the Diaz brothers. I will fight Georges St Pierre. Even if it wasn’t an immediate rematch, I would have fought Wonderboy again. I was trying to let the fans get involved and see what they thought.”
Being a 2 Division Champion
“It wasn’t a goal for me at first, to be honest. I had so many guys in my division that I hadn’t beaten yet, so my goal wasn’t to go to another division. Then Bisping mentioned that he wanted to fight me. I was surprised that he would be willing to risk it against me, by putting his belt on the line. It’s a very favorable matchup for myself. I just hadn’t thought about it. When I did, I thought, ‘Heck yes’.”
Animosity towards Wonderboy
“He was saying crazy things, like I should be stripped of my belt if I wouldn’t fight him. Even when he was talking and saying I didn’t want to fight him, we had already committed to fighting each other. To me that wasn’t a very manly move. He not only thinks he’s a better fighter than me, but he thinks he’s a better human than I am. I can’t lose to him. I can’t lose to what he stands for. He’s just a phony guy.”
Fighting cautiously in the first fight
“I had a great plan going into the first fight. I executed about 25% of the plan. Using only 25% execution, I still won that fight. What do you think is going to happen when I walk in there again? I now know that I’m stronger and faster than him. His gift is what? Striking. Well, he was out-struck in the fight. I can’t see him coming in and being able to take me down, submitting me, or dirty boxing me against the cage. Those are just not skills you can gain in 6 weeks.”
Establishing dominance in the rematch
“I just want to be so dominant that he never wants to fight me again. My goal is to go out there and create separation between myself and the rest of the welterweights. I want it to be ‘Tyron Woodley, the UFC Welterweight Champion’… then everybody else.”
“I’m trying to focus on Wonderboy and Conor starts going through all this patty-cake stuff. We knew the fight wasn’t going to be real when he was talking. Now, guess what? I’m done with my fight. Conor and I can really get this going. All of a sudden… Crickets. Silence. We haven’t heard a peep from Conor since backstage at the weigh-ins.”
Taking the money fights
“It’s not all about the payday, but we are prizefighters. It’s like working at the post office and you have a chance to get a promotion to make more money.
“Nah. You shouldn’t make more money. You should just stay in this job, because that person deserves it.”
No, you’re going to take the promotion! People don’t realize that this is an entertainment sport. We get paid to do this. Why wouldn’t a champion want to make the most money possible?”
His message for Thompson
“Our first fight, he probably had the best fight of his life. He was getting dominated in the first round and he came back from death in the fourth round. He showed a lot of guts and you get credit for that. I think that’s what the judges got wrong. They rewarded him, because he survived. It doesn’t turn a 10-8 round into a 10-9, because you’re tough. My message to him: Pack a lunch brother. You woke up a sleeping giant. I’m taking this personal and I’m going to embarrass you.”