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UFC 209: Tyron Woodley Asks What Happened to “You Have to Beat The Champion?”

Kelsey Mowatt

Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley has agreed to face Stephen Thompson at UFC 209, but it doesn’t sound like the welterweight champ thinks the fight should be going down.

Thompson and Woodley battled for the first time in November, and the latter retained the belt via a majority draw. Thompson and others started campaigning for a rematch right after the bout, but Woodley said he wanted a big money fight with the likes of Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz or Michael Bisping.

Not only that, but Woodley has made it clear that he doesn’t think Thompson really deserves a rematch. The argument being that he nearly finished the vaunted striker on a couple of occasions. Well, the rematch might be set for March 4th, but Woodley obviously hasn’t changed his mind on that stance. On his podcast with Din Thomas, Woodley had this to say (quote via MMA Junkie):

“What ever happened to the phrase, ‘You have to beat the champion’? Is that a lost art?” Woodley said. “Can you go in there and make it close with the champion and walk around as if you’ve beat the champion? I’m just not cool with the way the fight was promoted, as if I was the challenger. I don’t like that the challenger thinks he can call the shots.”

“Two rounds were completely lopsided, and three rounds outside of that were very close,” Woodley added. “He never dominated a single round of that fight…”

That’s one way of looking at it, but, clearly the UFC didn’t want to go with any of the other match-ups Woodley was campaigning for. And, while not everyone is necessarily buzzing about the rematch, there does seem to be a fair amount of interest in it.

UFC 209 will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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