If you watched the card, then you know that as many expected would be the case, Maia tried to take Woodley down numerous times, and failed. Woodley cracked Maia with a few hard counters that left the vaunted grappler’s face bruised and swollen, but, the fight featured very few, if any, highlight reel moments. As a result, boos reigned out for much of the latter portion of the bout.
Well, after the card, White had this to say about Woodley’s performance (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Listen, when you break a record for the least punches ever thrown in a five-round title fight, and you beat it, by I think it was like 130 [strikes] and these guys threw 60 or something like that, I think that sums it up,” White said.
“The guy [Maia] had one eye in the first round and you’re [Woodley] faster, you’re stronger, your hands are better, you’re explosive. I believe that Woodley could’ve finished that in the first round, and if not, he definitely could’ve finished it in the second round. If you had a remote control for that guy, he’s a freak of nature, he’d be an incredible fighter. Listen, it’s easy to say a win is a win but when you get booed out of an arena, that means people don’t want to watch you fight, you know. And that’s how you make a living. It’s not good if people don’t want to watch you fight.”
Now, Woodley supporters would likely argue that when it comes to a guy like Maia, you have to be extremely cautious, because all he needs is one opening before you’re getting choked. But, even Woodley fans would concede the champ could have stepped up his attacks, particularly later in the fight.
As a result of the bout, which is widely being panned, White said that Woodley will not fight Georges St-Pierre next (the UFC is looking at having GSP fight Michael Bisping again after all…). When asked about who Woodley might face next, White said Robbie Lawler is a possibility.
Woodley knocked Lawler out in the opening round last July to become the 170 champ. The latter earned a decision win over Donald Cerrone, which was Lawler’s first fight since the Woodley defeat.