Tyron Woodley has not fought in nearly a year, and the would-be No. 1 contender is more than prepared to extend that layoff as he waits for a welterweight title shot.
Don’t worry about how that inactivity might affect Woodley’s finances. “The Chosen One” says he’s doing just fine in that regard.
“I’m a grinder. I’m not a fighter. If you paint three houses a year, does that make you a painter, or did you just paint three houses? I’m a business man; I’m a father; I’m a husband; I’m an actor; I’m an entrepreneur; I’m a stunt man; I’m a lot of things,” Woodley said during a recent appearance on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “I fight three times a year... I do a lot of different things... If it’s offered to me, they promise it to me and I get the fight, why would I risk it and put somebody else in that [position] just for a few bucks?
“I’ll find a way to make it. I can go out and start a lemonade stand if I have to. I can make money and be OK. I’ve done it the whole time I’ve been fighting.”
Woodley was supposed to face Johny Hendricks at UFC 192 in Houston this past October, but that bout was scrapped on the eve of the event after weight-cutting issues sent Hendricks to the hospital. As a result, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Woodley would receive the next 170-pound title opportunity.
The Strikeforce veteran is well aware that such guarantees are flimsy in the UFC, especially on the heels of a riveting championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit last weekend. Lawler called for a rematch in his post-fight interview, and if Condit doesn’t follow through with retirement, a return date could very well be in the cards.
“There are so many variables,” Woodley said. “We know this sport. Nothing is a sure thing. Me getting the fight is not a sure thing; the rematch is not a sure thing. Watching the fight there was enough controversy in it where I could see how fans, and even Dana, might want to run it back.”
Woodley has a decent amount of momentum himself: Victories in four of his last five fights, including a triumph over the aforementioned Condit at UFC 171. Still, even with his own future in limbo, Woodley couldn’t help but be a fan as the UFC 195 main event unfolded.
“I’m a fan. I’m a fan of Carlos; I’m a fan of Robbie, but I’m also a fan of being a world title holder. It’s an amazing feeling to be No. 2 in that division, which in my opinion is the toughest division in the world, and I’m just excited about it,” Woodley said.
With that excitement comes optimism. Despite the uncertainty of what might come next, Woodley is confident that he will get what he desires at some point in 2016. If that means fighting an opponent in Lawler who also has an American Top Team affiliation, then so be it.
“I’m getting that fight next, man. I know it. I don’t think Carlos Condit’s coming back. He has no reason to come back,” Woodley said.
“I will be the UFC champion in 2016. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m going to have to take out one of the homeys to do it. Robbie Lawler does not care. I want you guys to realize that. I talked to Robbie about it. His heart rate doesn’t change. He is a fighter. He will fight his dad if it came down to the strap.”