Just two years ago, Tyron Woodley (19-5-1) was looked as one of the best fighters in the UFC. Woodley had knocked out Robbie Lawler to win the welterweight title, then he successfully defended the title three times. With his skillset, it was hard to imagine him losing the welterweight title. Fast-forward and Woodley finds himself on a two-fight losing streak. At 38-years-old, Woodley still remains hungry and took to Instagram Live to say as much recently.
“I want to fight two more times this year,” (via MMA Junkie). “So we are right now in June. I feel like if I can get one on the books sometime in the near future then it still leaves me with November or December to fight again.”
What does the UFC do?
Woodley would also go on to say that he’s not in a position to call anyone out. Woodley is coming off back-to-back shutout losses. Kamaru Usman dominated him for five rounds taking away his UFC welterweight title, then Gilbert Burns dismantled him back in May. In both fights, Woodley just looked very hesitant to pull the trigger. He did not look like the same Tyron Woodley that we have seen in the past.
So the question becomes, what does the UFC do with Woodley? To me, I think there’s a few matchups that would make sense for Woodley at this stage of his career. I think if you paired Woodley up with Robbie Lawler (28-14, 1 NC) it would make sense. Both men are on multiple fight losing streaks. They were already supposed to rematch a year ago, but injuries forced Woodley out of the fight.
Another fight that could make sense is a third fight with Stephen Thompson (15-4-1). Both of their first two UFC title fights were razor close. They are right next to each other in the rankings so it would make perfect sense from that standpoint. Probably not the sexiest matchup considering the way the first two fights went, but it’s definitely a possibility.
Then of course you have the potential matchup with Colby Covington (15-2). While there is a lot of heat behind this matchup, I’m not sure the UFC would give Woodley this fight after back-to-back losses, but it’s the biggest potential fight there is. There is a ton of heat between the two men, and both are looking to get back to the UFC welterweight title. This has to be the fight that Woodley wants.
Time will tell what Dana White and the UFC decide to do with Tyron Woodley. He’s still considered to be one of the better welterweights in the world, but many are doubting his eliteness at this stage of his career. I would guess that we will probably see him back in August, perhaps on the card headlined by Cormier/Miocic 3.