Woodley: Fast rematch diminishes title credibility


In most sports, ascension to a championship contest is math - you win, you're in. Whether you win in an exciting or lackluster fashion is not a factor.

This is not the case with the UFC, where whether a fighter continually presses for a knockout or takedown does factor in in determining who gets a title shot, a rematch, or keeps their contract following a loss.

Tyron Woodley recently appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network and argued that the welterweight division has been watered down by rematches, hurting the image of the sport.

Woodley argues that Robbie Lawler got a fast track to a title shot vs. Johny Hendricks at UFC 171, and a fast track to a rematch. Lawler lost to Hendricks on 3/15, beat Jake Ellenberger on 5/24, and has a fight with Mat Brown on 7/26; if he wins that, he gets a title shot.

Woodley had three fights in 2013. This year, he beat Carlos Condit on 3/15, and fights Rory MacDonald live on PPV Saturday night.

“I think we need to have some consistency and a rubric to make it more of a sport,” said Woodley. “I feel like guys that are legitimately putting themselves in that position to fight for the title by working so hard, and we should be given that shot, not just look at the fans saying, ‘That was a good fight. I want to see it again.’ OK, well, if you saw the NBA finals and it was a great series between the Heat and OKC, you don’t get to run it back just because it was a great last game of the series. The winner’s the winner.”

"As a fan and friend of Robbie, I think it was a great fight. When in the history of MMA did a guy that just came out of, not a quick knockout, but a five-round war, get signed up so quickly for the next fight? A fight in May, then right back in there in July. He’s already been set up with two fights. He will fight two times by the time I fight once. I think that if I get another chance to fight someone else in between, then I am the number one contender now.”

“Matt Brown is a tough guy. I like watching him. He comes for blood and you can never count him out. He has seven wins in a row, which is huge, but none of the guys are in the top 10, which is not as huge. Before he went on that tear, he was nearly 12-11, .500 in record. I can see how all these things are playing out, but I think maybe that bout should be the next in line to fight the winner of me and Johny.”

“I feel like all these unwarranted rematches in our sport are making the belt not as credible as it should be.”

On The Download with Dana White, UFC.com's exclusive weekly interview with the boss, White addressed Woodley's concerns.

"It's not that anybody can get a title shot or rematch - the Lawler-Johny Hendricks fight was so close," said White. "Everybody thinks Woodley gasses out after the first round. This is Tyron's shot right here. Nobody is beating down the doors after Tyron's last two performances for him to get a title shot. He's explosive and exciting, but there are question marks there. This kid MacDonald has the exact style to tire him out and make him gas out. We'll see.

"Woodley - half the time he has a killer instinct and goes out there and destroys people, and half the time he doesn't. He's a 50/50 guy. MacDonald is the same thing," White continued. "It's a big fight for both these guys. Woodley has to go out and make people want to see him in a title fight. This is his big opportunity. So let's see it. Go out and deliver this weekend and make people talk about you and see you in a title fight."

So UG, what do you think happens Saturday night? What will we be saying about Tyron Woodley come Sunday?

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Recent Comments »

Pessimist_Pete site profile image  

6/14/14 1:13 AM by Pessimist_Pete

Well Robbie would fucking smash Woodley, so there's that

rkm456 site profile image  

6/14/14 1:04 AM by rkm456

There might be less confusion if they'd stop giving some guys 2 fights a year and others 5. Lawler isn't getting an easy path to the another shot, but he's definitely getting a quicker one than the other guys who either have to recover after their fights, or just aren't offered fights as often. It's also laughable that a fight with Matt Brown is a title eliminator. It means that Matt Brown's first top 10 win gets him a title shot, and that a win over someone with 0 top 10 wins is also enough to get a title shot.The winner of Woodley/Rory and even Hector Lombard to me is a more intriguing match up for Hendricks. Robbie will likely fair worse in a rematch, and Matt Brown just flat out isn't deserving.

MMALOGIC site profile image  

6/13/14 5:59 PM by MMALOGIC

with all these events, the divisions are getting deeper and there are more contenders than ever before... you now have to compete for the hearts and minds of the fans to get a title shot.  That means how you perform in the cage and how vocal you are.  The fans decide who's going to get the next shot. the days of running down the clock by dancing around or holding to decision your way to a title shot are coming to an end.

Wasa-B site profile image  

6/13/14 5:42 PM by Wasa-B

This. However, rematches of questionable or close decisions are still very much legitimate. Im quite sure Woodley would be singing a diff tune if he lost a close one to Hendricks.

OSBtro11 site profile image  

6/13/14 4:59 PM by OSBtro11

That's a dumbass logic . Robbie has done WAY more in the division .

Aaron Becker site profile image  

6/13/14 4:56 PM by Aaron Becker

It does when there half a dozen guys that are deserving

JohnMorgansBlueShirt site profile image  

6/13/14 4:45 PM by JohnMorgansBlueShirt

You're right should have wrote "again"

The Winter Soldier site profile image  

6/13/14 4:44 PM by The Winter Soldier

 You have to have a bunch of drama queen fanboys following you on Twitter and Facebook to get a title fight. Your record doesnt matter. This whole "sport" has turned heel.

DoomFarmer site profile image  

6/13/14 4:16 PM by DoomFarmer

Jesus, so may people overstate the whole "Woodley gasses out" thing.Rogan said it so a hundred fanboys parrot it.The guy has went the distance plenty of times.You can point to maybe a couple of fights where you can legitamately say he might have gassed.

matthias site profile image  

6/13/14 3:58 PM by matthias

http://www.nba.com/playoffs/2012/finals/2012 doesn't count?