During UFC 205 fight week, a rivalry appeared to be brewing between Tyron Woodley and Conor McGregor.
The two fighters had run-ins at both early and ceremonial weigh-ins as well as a brief Twitter altercation. Woodley, who retained his welterweight title after his co-headlining bout with Stephen Thompson was declared a majority draw, has no issues squaring off against the UFC’s featherweight and lightweight champion. He simply believes that McGregor should think twice about venturing back up to welterweight.
“I’m 100 percent positive he’s never been hit with the shots I’ll hit him with. I don’t think Conor understands the pressure I can put on him, the power i can put on him in every different attack,” he said. “I don’t think I can win; if I beat him I’m supposed to beat him, if I don’t win we all know what happens.
“If he wants it, we can sign it right now. I just don’t think it’s a good idea for him.”
For now, McGregor is non-committal when it comes to his future. The Irishman has a baby on the way and made it clear following his win over Eddie Alvarez that he is seeking an ownership stake in the UFC before he fights again. However, he wasn’t the least bit surprised that Woodley expressed interest a future bout against him. Fighting McGregor has proven to be a lucrative opportunity for his previous opponents.
“I’m sure he would [take it],” McGregor said. “They all would.”
Shortly after McGregor put Alvarez away to claim his second title, he vocalized his displeasure in a post-fight interview that both of his belts were not with him in the Octagon. To remedy that situation, Woodley let the Irishman borrow his title. And if he was upset about having to do so, he wasn’t about to go on the record with those feelings.
“I’m a professional at the end of the day. It’s obvious the majority of the crowd is here to see Conor McGregor. He’s got this mystique about him and people want to see him fight,” Woodley said.
Woodley also got his belt back shortly thereafter, although that didn’t involve any interaction with McGregor.
“The person that asked me to use the belt, issued the belt back to me,” he said. “I have not seen Conor since he won his fight.”
A date with McGregor could be mere speculation. After all, Woodley didn’t actually beat Thompson on Saturday night. And if a rematch with “Wonderboy” doesn’t happen, other contenders like Demian Maia are looming as well.
“I’m just leaving those things up for grabs,” Woodley said. “I’m just gonna go back to the drawing board, see what’s important. This is a sport, but it’s also entertainment. If Conor McGregor wants to fight me, I think all of you want to see that fight.”