It didn’t take long for newly-crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Tyron Woodley to discuss getting back to work.
After dispatching Robbie Lawler in the opening frame with a violent torrent of punches in the main event of UFC 201 last Saturday to capture his first ever world title, the mixed martial arts world was abuzz as to whom Woodley will defend his throne against.
The discussion can start with a pound-for-pound king, as “The Chosen One” disclosed that a match with former 170-pound monarch Georges St. Pierre is in the works. The legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City, which hosts UFC 205, is a likely landing spot for the fight, should contracts be agreed upon.
Woodley revealed the talks on his “Morning Wood with Deez Nuts” podcast Tuesday afternoon and he couldn’t be more enthused to make the first defense of his title against a man considered by most as one of the greatest, if not the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in MMA history.
“I’ve already spoken to the lineal champion; the No. 1 welterweight … one of the greatest in the sport,” Woodley said. “His interest is in fighting me. Georges St. Pierre wants to fight me. And guess what? I want to fight him.”
Woodley, who was a two-time NCAA Division 1 All-American, was just 4-2 to start his UFC career after dominating the regional MMA circuit. He came up short against Nate Marquardt in a bid to win the Strikeforce welterweight crown and didn’t quite look like a dominant eventual champion when he first came to the UFC.
But Woodley turned things around when he won two straight over Carlos Condit and Josh Koscheck, both via stoppage. He dropped a tightly-contested battle with Rory MacDonald and then bounced back with huge wins over Dong Hyun Kim and Kelvin Gastelum before finally landing a crack at “Ruthless” Robbie’s title. A booming right to the jaw floored Lawler and Woodley finished him off with six straight punches to the head, knocking the fan favorite out cold in just 2:12.
St. Pierre, meanwhile, has been out of action since abruptly retiring from the sport after conquering Johny Hendricks nearly three years ago following UFC 167. A two-time UFC champion, “Rush” became the most dominant welterweight the sport ever saw. The Montreal native took out a who’s-who of the sport, scoring huge wins over Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Jon Fitch, Jake Shields, Condit and Diaz to reign supreme over the welterweight mountain and P4P rankings.
In total, GSP defended his title nine times before relinquishing his belt and retiring from the sport due to personal reasons. There have been widespread rumors for years regarding his return, but a knee injury and eventual surgery squashed those rumors in 2014 and nobody knew when, or if, St. Pierre would ever return to the Octagon… until now.
“I want to know that I at least had the opportunity to prove to myself that I’m the best welterweight who’s ever graced a damn Octagon,” Woodley stated.
If everything falls into play and St. Pierre does, in fact, come out of retirement and takes on Woodley for the title, it’ll be one of the biggest stories of the year. And it will most certainly give “The Chosen One” an opportunity to prove that he is the best in the world.