Tyron Woodley thinks beating Rafael dos Anjos will be easy money.
The week prior to UFC On Fox 26, Dana White announced that the winner of the headline bout between Rafael Dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler would receive the next Welterweight title shot against Tyron Woodley.
RDA dominated Lawler with strikes over 5-rounds achieving a dominant victory, ostensibly securing the shot. Woodley was working the Fox Sports desk for the fight and confidently stated that in a match with either fighter he would achieve a knockout.
“In my opinion, what I saw tonight is that if any of those two guys in that bout would fight me, one of those guys is going to get knocked out,” he said. “I saw the IQ wasn’t as high as I would like for a No. 1 contendership fight. Both of those guys are always talking about pushing the pace, and they were going to do this and they were going to do that. I saw a ton of openings for myself (in that fight).”
Woodley fought Lawler in July 2016 at UFC 201 and took the Welterweight title with a flash first round knockout. Since then he has defended it three times, twice against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, an elite kickboxer, and once against Damein Maia, a Jiu Jitsu specialist. The Welterweight champ is now shamelessly pursuing a ‘money fight’ and he won’t get one with any of the current contenders, including RDA.
He was quite respectful of the Brazilian’s performance, and stated that he carried the weight well, moving up from 155 pounds. But the champ stayed firm in his assessment of RDA as an inferior fighter.
“Obviously, I don’t want to steal the shine. RDA had a great moment, he went out there, he did his job. Robbie Lawler is a very dangerous opponent and he’s knocked out so many different people, but just being honest and keeping it 100 percent, I’m the champion for a reason.”
Right now the contender pool at Welterweight is a shark tank. Darren Till, RDA, Colby Covington, and Santiago Ponziniboi are all elite fighters in a frenzy for the title. Most likely, two will fight for an Interim belt early next year. Woodley has announced he is having shoulder surgery after a labral tear suffered in the fight against Maia. No timetable is set on his return, but the rehab process usually takes months.