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Fortunes changed for four (divisions) after UFC 201

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On Saturday night, shortly after Tyron Woodley captured the UFC welterweight title from Robbie Lawler in spectacular fashion, he was on the post-fight show talking to analyst, and top division contender, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Thompson (13-1) put in his bid for a title shot. Woodley shut it down, saying that he was looking to fight Nick Diaz next, suggesting he was ready to fight him next month at UFC 202. Later in the conversation, he also threw out the name Georges St-Pierre for a potential November match in Madison Square Garden.

From Woodley’s standpoint, you had to admire him. He’s 34, careers are short in this sport, and at that age, you look at things a lot differently. When you see the end of your career, you want the money fight, not the hardest fight.

Luke Rockhold had a similar situation twice in recent months, first picking Chris Weidman over a potential fight with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza or Yoel Romero, neither of which would do as much business. Then he picked Michael Bisping as a replacement opponent over the higher-ranked and more dangerous Souza, again figuring Bisping was the better choice for building a fight up with limited time. That didn’t end up working out well for him since Bisping beat him for the title. Bisping, at 37, then played a similar game, choosing Dan Henderson over any of the big four contenders, Souza, Romero, Weidman or Rockhold.

Title shots going to the most marketable contender, as opposed to the most deserving contender, has been a part of fight sports for a century. It likely will be for the next century. But there has to be a balance at some level.

Diaz, who is coming off ….View full article

Source:: mma fighting