UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley silenced his critics over recent performances with a flawless victory over undefeated contender Darren Till at UFC 228 Saturday night, and now “The Chosen One” is encroaching on Georges St. Pierre’s “Greatest of All Time” status.
Woodley planted Till on his back with a massive counter overhand shortly into the second round, and followed it up with absolutely vicious elbows and ground-and-pound. Till wouldn’t find his way to his feet, as the champion sunk in a brabo choke shortly thereafter to get the tap at the 4:19 mark of the period.
Woodley has been largely criticized for his title defenses against Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia, both of whom took the champion five long and mostly forgettable rounds. However, his performance at UFC 228 served to solidify his place atop the welterweight greats.
The champion revealed that at one time he believed he had to beat GSP in order to surpass his legacy, but with the former welterweight and middleweight champion off the MMA radar, Woodley no longer feels the same way.
“I told myself that I had to beat him to be the greatest, but I don’t,” Woodley explained at the post-fight press conference. “This sport is different. These guys are better. They’re more well-rounded, they punch harder, they’re faster. And they’ve been training at a younger age. It’s not the wrestler that just learned how to punch. Everybody can do everything now, so I think the fact that I’ve been able to beat the last specialists in the game, beat the up-and-coming rising star, beat Robbie Lawler, who’s one of the most vicious fighters we’ve ever seen with two title fights that I think are probably in the top 10 of title fights of all time.”
St. Pierre held the welterweight title from 2006 to 2007 and then again from 2008 to 2013. Since his absence from the division, Johnny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler and now Woodley have held the welterweight belt, but only Woodley has come close to challenging GSP for the title of greatest UFC welterweight of all time.
Of course, he wouldn’t turn down a fight with GSP should the former longtime title holder return to the welterweight division after a brief stint as middleweight champion.
“It don’t take much more for me to solidify that spot. But if [GSP] wants to fight me, of course I’m gonna fight Georges St. Pierre. I just don’t think he has to; I don’t think he has any interest in it, and I’m kind of over it at this point.”