During his reign as UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley would frequently talk about eclipsing Georges St-Pierre as the greatest welterweight of all-time. Now, Woodley wants to follow in St-Pierre’s footsteps, and after reclaiming the 170-pound title, move up and take the middleweight title as well.
Speaking on an Instagram live session recently (h/t Bloody Elbow), Woodley outlined his future plans, saying that he believes he’ll have cleaned out the welterweight division after a few more wins, and once he’s done that, he has his sights set on middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
“I’m just getting started,” Woodley said. “I’m not going to act like I’m going to be here until I’m 45, but I’m not going anywhere for a while. I’ve got a lot of people and mouths to shut up. And then I want to spend some time at middleweight too.
“I’ve got to clean up the (welterweight) division. Three or four fights in the welterweight division, and when I feel like I can comfortably say that I’ve wiped everybody out, then I want to go up there and see what Izzy is about.
“I’m going straight for the belt (if I move up), whoever its at. I ain’t going up to play games. I’m already a five-time world champion.”
Adesanya is one of the fastest rising stars in the UFC at present. Despite making his UFC debut just two years ago, Adesanya has quickly amassed eight wins in the organization, claimed the middleweight championship, and already defended it against Yoel Romero, albeit in a fight most would like to forget. That fight, among other reasons, is partly why Woodley is interested in a move to middleweight, he believes it exposed some weaknesses in “The Last Stylebender”.
“I don’t think he’s as dope as everybody is saying,” Woodley said. “I think he’s great, but everyone is making him out like he’s some phenomenon. I’ve seen some exposure in the Gastelum fight — somebody I walked through. I’ve seen some exposure in the Yoel Romero fight, he’s scared of guys with power. One thing that Yoel and I have in common — not the same — is power, explosiveness. It didn’t seem like he was trying to deal with that at all.”
For his part, Adesanya has been more concerned with moving up to light heavyweight and heavyweight in the near future. However, the middleweight champion did notice Woodley casting aspersions at him and took some time to respond via Twitter, pointing out to the former welterweight champion that the last time he fought it was against another Nigerian, and on that night Kamaru Usman dominated him to take the welterweight title.