Warning: Story contains coarse language
Suffice it to say Tyron Woodley wasn’t too pleased with hearing his promoter claim he was “” last week.
The emissary of those comments – UFC president Dana White – spewed them in response to Woodleyhe expected to share the Octagon with Nate Diaz next. The reigning welterweight champion deemed White’s crass words a tad excessive when speaking to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of “ ” – especially given Woodley’s status.
“That’s a little bit harsh, a little bit hardcore for somebody who is wearing the belt of your organization, that people and young fighters aspire to enter the UFC, they aspire to be UFC champion,” Woodley said. “I don’t think many people are going to aspire to be the champion when they see how champions are treated. And they see that the non-champions and the people that are unprofessional – middle-finger flicking, shit-talking – they’re actually making the money.
“So what kind of picture are we trying to put out? I thought we were going in the direction to be parallel with the NFL, NHL, MLB, and the other professional sports. It’s a circus until it comes to Tyron, and now we want to go back to the old-school rubric. I got issues with that.”
Woodley – who admitted he was “really pissed off” at White’s comments – has lamented the way he’s been treated by the promotion on more than one occasion, and phoned White the day after his condemnatory response to arrange a sitdown for next week in Las Vegas. The 35-year-old not only believes White could have addressed his desire for a date with Diaz differently but was quick to point out Diaz didn’t field nearly as much scrutiny forin meeting in the cage.
“I just didn’t think that was right. I think even if he thought that way, it could have been said a different way. I think a lot of people spun what I was saying. Never said this fight was in negotiations. Never said any of those things. Then when Nate came out, I never heard anybody say how full of shit Nate was. It’s so funny it was a one-sided bashing.”
White has repeatedly anointed a resurgent Rafael dos Anjos as Woodley's next challenger, a matchup the champ alleges has yet to be formally posited. While the promotion has ditched meritocracy for the occasional blockbuster before, Woodley has seen his own campaigns for lucrative bouts opposite several opponents amount to nothing, and claimed he's had to do what the UFC hasn't done of late: shoulder the load of building himself into a household name. White's rant didn't do him any favors.
“It can’t go down like that. It’s very damaging for me, for a fighter that’s trying to generate his brand and his name.”
– With h/t to
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