Tyron Woodley has responded to criticism about his UFC 209 performance by asking Dana White and fans to fight Stephen Thompson.
Unlike their first encounter, the UFC 209 headliner was pretty uneventful, as Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson spent majority of the 25 minutes being tentative and inactive as they both tried to read and counter each other.
Dana White also gave his thoughts following the event, saying that not only did he think Thompson won 3 rounds to 2, but the lack of action also “didn’t help Woodley in any way shape or form.”
Woodley, who retained his belt in a close decision, responded to the criticism by saying he’d like to see the UFC President step inside the cage to fight.
“I want to see Dana get in there and fight Wonderboy,” Woodley said during the post-fight press conference. “Watch everyone else that walked in there. Watch Patrick Cote, Robert Whittaker, watch all these guys that thought they were just going to bulldoze him, and they disrespected his style. I did the opposite. I embraced his style. I brought in the world champion, currently in his weight division. I brought in Sage Northcutt, tons of guys who are in that actual sport fighting. You can’t disrespect that style.
“If you think you have it figured out, kicks and punches come from weird angles, and you find yourself with out this (belt), and you find yourself knocked out. I know you guys love to see the knockouts, gore, blood — and I love watching it as well, but guess what, I love being world champion, and sometimes it’s not the sexiest fight.”
Related: Tyron Woodley vs Stephen Thompson 2 scorecards
Woodley also got a bit defensive when asked if this type of fight hinders his goal of being a more popular champion.
“A fight like what? A world championship fight against a very tough opponent? A chess match in a rematch?” he responded.
“That’s okay (if the fans didn’t like the fight). The fans can also tap in, I’ll pause the fight, and they’ll enter the cage. I’ll exit the cage, and they can show me how to do better,” he said. “It’s so easy to say it from that seat you’re sitting in. But when you’re fighting a world class fighter who has finished so many opponents, so many knockouts, so many tricks on his sleeve. Sometimes you have to be patient and find that moment.”