Tyron Woodley wants to test himself, and after what he witnessed in Vancouver last weekend, he’s embracing one of the tallest tasks the sport has to offer.
Former welterweight champion Woodley, who hasn’t competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship since losing his belt to Kamaru Usman back in March at UFC 235, recently called out undefeated lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov on his Hollywood Beatdown show.
The 37-year-old explained the callout in a recent fan Q&A session which was organized by the UFC at Rogers Arena last Friday, and said he was hugely impressed by how Nurmagomedov dealt with his former American Top Team gym teammate Dustin Poirier and wanted to see how he’d fare against the undefeated sambo champion (via MMAFighting.com):
“He’s a beast,” Woodley said. “I just think that right now in my life and my career, I need the impossible. I need the stuff that nobody can do, I need the thing that’s gonna motivate me beyond measure and I think that he provides that.
“Obviously, I could never make 155. I’m already kind of alluding to handling business at welterweight and going up to middleweight. It would have to be something at a catchweight, it would have to be something that he would be interested in. He’s on top of the world right now, I might not even be an option for him. It’s more out of respect of what he can do. I know Dustin, he spars middleweights, light heavyweights, and for him to go out there and put on a performance like that against Dustin, I gotta see what it feels like.”
One fight which Woodley has been seeking in his career was against arguably the greatest welterweight of all-time in Georges St. Pierre.
Woodley said he is scheduled to train with “GSP” soon at the Tristar gym in Canada and said he respects the legendary Canadian’s will to become the best fighter he could be by continually surround himself with the best trainers. “The Chosen One” acknowledges he may never get to fight “GSP” but predicted if they met in their prime he would have gotten the better of “Rush”:
“[St. Pierre] trained with the best wrestlers he could train, he trained with Greg Jackson, then he trained with Freddie Roach,” Woodley said. “He took his time and his money and invested into himself, so I took that rubric and I did the same thing to me. I think naturally I’m faster, I think I punch harder, I think I kick harder, I think I wrestle better, I think we both mentally tough and I think if you match us at our prime, I think I win that fight.
“And I’ve always wanted to prove that. Not to you guys, but to myself because he was the king of the throne for a very long time. You can’t ever walk around and say you the greatest that ever did it knowing that this guy’s living, willing, able and competitive enough to still compete. So that’s why I was pushing for that fight. Not so much for the money, I’m going to make money anyway. But so much more for myself, that I can prove that I am the greatest welterweight that’s ever walked around. Once I recognized that we were never gonna fight, then I said why not us train? I’m going to get the same motivation, but now instead of 25 minutes, I can share weeks, hours, months, on picking his brain, swapping techniques, and now my legacy is based on who I beat, how I beat them, how long I reigned at the top, and that’s going to be my argument why I’m the greatest of all-time.”