UFC president Dana White was highly critical of his welterweight champion Tyron Woodley following his title defense against Demian Maia at UFC 214 on Saturday night. Unless White publicly apologizes, Woodley is threatening to leak information that his employers wouldn’t want in public.
Woodley has won five of his last six bouts. He drew with Stephen Thompson, but knocked out Robbie Lawler in 2:12 to win the belt during that stretch.
In his fight with Maia, a master of takedowns and submission, Woodley stuffed all 21 of the Brazilian’s takedown attempts on his way to a unanimous decision victory with scores of 50-45, 49-46, and 49-46 from the judges.
Despite routing Maia, fans were left booing what they perceived as a boring fight. White, who also felt that Woodley did little to try and finish the fight, took it a step further.
The UFC president had said leading up to the fight that returning former champion Georges St-Pierre would fight the winner of Woodley vs. Maia after he had scrapped previous plans for St-Pierre to challenge middleweight titleholder Michael Bisping. White reversed course on Saturday night, saying he was so disappointed in Woodley’s performance that he was reinstating the fight between St-Pierre and Bisping.
Woodley can handle fans being critical, even overly so, but he did not take kindly to White tearing him down.
“I don’t care so much about the fans, but when your job title is promoter, promote your (expletive) fighter,” Woodley said on The MMA Hour on Monday. “Promote your champion. Don’t demote your champion.
“I threw my shoulder out in the first round. I wasn’t able to throw any damaging shots — for you guys who don’t understand what a labrum tear is, go get on Google or Wikipedia and figure it out — and I still stayed the course, I stayed on path, I stayed on point, I executed the gameplan. I had to reduce all of my shots from overhands, uppercuts, things that were hurting my shoulder, to straight punches,” he explained.
“I’m owed a public apology. You’re going to publicly scrutinize me, Dana White? You publicly need to apologize to me.”
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Woodley has been the UFC champion for a year, fighting four times during that stretch, including winning the belt from Lawler. He’s never tested positive to performance-enhancing substances. And aside from fighting, Woodley is also a UFC analyst for Fox Sports.
He thinks all of that should count for something, but feels slighted by White’s harsh reaction to his UFC 214 victory.
“I’ve done nothing but good stuff for the sport. I’ve done nothing but be a good model for the (expletive) organization,” Woodley said. “I go out there and I fight with integrity. I covered your sport from the FOX desk a week before my fight. I always uphold my responsibilities to the organization. It is time out for that. The word behind ‘business’ is ‘man.’ You need to be a man; you owe me a public apology. And if I don’t get that, I’m going to start leaking some (expletive) that people don’t want to be out in the wind. I’m not even kidding about that.”
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