UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley says all top contenders must go through Stephen Thompson first before they get to fight for his title.
There is great uncertainty in terms of the immediate fighting future of UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. As he remains unsure about his return after having shoulder surgery late last year, his next challenger is also undetermined at this point.
So as he remains on the sidelines “The Chosen One” will be closely watching his division’s current top contenders. One fighter that he will be keeping an eye on is his former challenger Stephen Thompson, whom he expects to pick up the slack for the time being.
“‘Wonderboy’ the gatekeeper. He’ll do all my light work for me,” Woodley said on a recent Instagram Live Q&A (transcript via MMAjunkie). “All the dudes that think they want a shot at the strap, they’ve got to go through him, and ain’t nobody do it yet.”
Thompson is currently slated to headline the UFC’s upcoming event in Liverpool, England against hometown fighter Darren Till. For this fight, Woodley is going for Wonderboy to pick up the win, based on his experience in their two previous fights.
“I think Thompson (will win) man, to be honest,” Woodley said. “I know I’ve talked a lot of trash about Thompson, more in light joking. But Thompson is a very difficult puzzle to figure out. And it took me a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of training partners to figure him out.”
“I just don’t think Till has what it takes to take him out. With that said, I’ve got to go with ‘Wonderboy,’ even though he’s never said I was going to win a fight. But I’m just going to be a real guy and be honest: I think he’s going to win.”
UFC Liverpool will take place on May 27th. It will be co-headlined by another welterweight fight between Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson.