Tyron Woodley is weighing his opponent options for his next title defense.
On Saturday at UFC 211, number three-ranked welterweight contender Demian Maia picked up his seventh consecutive victory by edging Jorge Masvidal via split decision. It also earned him the title shot against champion Tyron Woodley, which many believe to be long overdue.
But if it were up to Woodley to decide, Maia would be the last option. Speaking to ESPN.com, “The Chosen One” is still more inclined to face either Nick Diaz or Georges St-Pierre.
“I think those fights are way more real than you guys realize,” Woodley said of St-Pierre and Diaz. “I was teasing everyone for several weeks, but that wasn’t for giggles. Those are realistic options that could make Demian Maia take a back seat for a little bit.”
Woodley agrees to the fact that Maia does deserve a crack at the title, and even believes he matches up well with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace. But at the same time, it is a fight he is not looking forward to prepare for.
“He is one of the last specialists in the UFC. He and Stephen Thompson are two of the last specialists in the sport and they just so happen to be in my weight class, right near the top. Training for Wonderboy’s karate, two times in a row — they were the most annoying camps of my life. He’s so good at what he does.”
“I was a little frustrated with people at the FOX studios this weekend. They were laughing and jumping on my back like Maia does in fights. When I fight these specialists, I can’t be free in camp. I can’t be free in a fight. I can’t fight the way I normally would against a traditional, freestyle fighter. Now, I might have to go back to a similar training camp.”
Early this month, Woodley announced that he has already begun “champ camp”, and is eyeing for a return sometime in July.