Tyron Woodley will finally get his shot at Strikeforce gold on Saturday when he meets Nate Marquardt for the promotion’s vacant welterweight title.
Ahead of the matchup, Woodley joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss his opponent, what a win would mean and more.
On what he expects from Marquardt: “I’m just expecting the best Nate. The fact that he’s making a weight cut, whether or not he’s coming off TRT, whether his body’s feeling differently or he hasn’t fought in a year -- all those things, I just kind of don’t even factor in. I just factor that I’m feeling good. I’m going to go out there and fight hard. I’m going to win this fight and I’m going to be a world champion.”
On the fight being scheduled for five rounds: “It matters, but the thing that’s more important than five rounds is the preparation that went behind this fight. The amount of notice, the amount of time granted to get prepared -- I had the time I needed. I didn’t have to feel like I was rushing and pressuring myself and doing a crash course on getting in shape to make sure I was tiptop. I was able to be progressional and I was able to peak. I’ll be ready to roll. I’ll be at my best on Saturday.”
On whether he’ll follow Chael Sonnen’s game plan against Marquardt: “I think I’ve got to not so much follow a particular game plan of someone else because that person has a different body. They fight a different way. Chael, he’s going to walk forward, as you saw this past weekend. That’s his style. That’s not going to be my style. I can take some of the things that he does well and I can implement those things into my game plan as well as some other opponents who had some good moments against Nate, even if they didn’t win. You’ve got to look at weaknesses of your opponent and try to sharpen yourself up and also look at it from his point of view, what things he might be looking at, that he thinks he can exploit of mine, and make sure I close those gaps.”
On Marquardt’s submission game: “He has a good guillotine choke, a good kimura, goes for good leg locks and he’s a strong individual, but I think the team I fight for has some of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world. … If I’m in half guard, I don’t have to worry about getting hit with a triangle or armbar. It’s not going to happen. I’ve just got to worry about getting swept or leg locked or get put in a guillotine or a kimura, but I won’t have to worry about the posture that I’ll have to keep to get out of an armbar or a triangle. I just know when I get to certain spots what to look out for and also which ways I can be offensive.”
On whether Marquardt has an edge in experience: “I’ve probably wrestled 2,000 or 3,000 wrestling matches in my life. Experience is experience. Having to make weight, getting butterflies, competing against top-notch people -- that’s experience.”
On what a win would mean: “I feel as if I’m the uncrowned champion already. I think it will get me the respect I deserve. It will crack me into the top 10, where I should be. It will put my city, my gym, everybody who supports me, it will put us on the map where we should be.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:29:55).