Tyron Woodley may have successfully defended his welterweight title last night after a unanimous decision victory over Demian Maia in the co-main event of UFC 214, but his cautious gameplan appears to have cost him a blockbuster fight with Georges St-Pierre.
Prior to the fight, UFC President Dana White had been adamant that the winner of Woodley vs. Maia would fight GSP next, but the lackluster nature of the title encounter, which claimed the dubious record of having the least amount of strikes landed in UFC title fight history, had him rethinking his plans entirely.
“Listen, when you break a record for the least number of punches thrown in a five-round fight, when you beat it and it was like 130 and these guys threw 60 or something like that, that sums it up,” White said.
“If you get booed out of the arena, that’s not good. That’s not how you make your money. If people don’t want to watch you, that’s a bad sign.”
Earlier in the week White had stated “that ship has sailed” in relation to a fight between GSP and Bisping, but last night at the post-fight press conference he joked, “that f*cking ship turned around and sailed back.”
Asked to clarify that the UFC would now be re-booking a middleweight title fight between Bisping and GSP, White confirmed that was his intention.
“Yep,” White told reporters. “Cause I know Michael Bisping will fight. Michael Bisping will show up and fight. So yeah, I’m going to give it to him.”
That’s good news for those two fighters who have repeatedly made it clear that this was their preferred option.
On the other hand, it’s a major blow for Woodley, who had claimed in his post-fight speech in the Octagon that he would be fighting GSP next.
However, backstage he admitted to having been suspicious for some time that the fight wasn’t going to happen and claimed that the former long-time welterweight kingpin was running scared from him.
“[GSP] doesn’t want to fight me, because I’m a better version of him,” Woodley claimed.
That being said, it seemed to be White who made the decision to pull the plug on the match-up, and he clearly feels that ‘T-Wood’ only has himself to blame.
“You ask fans if they want to see Woodley fight again. I think that would be flat out no. Who wants to pay to see Tyron Woodley fight again?” White said. “He is an absolute physical specimen. The guy could have finished that fight at any time he wanted to, but he didn’t want to take the risks.
“You take no risks, you get no rewards.”