Dana White questions Woodley: "When is he ready to fight anyone?"


TORONTO – There are many people who want to know when the next Tyron Woodley title defense will be.

Tell Dana White between them.

The UFC president talked about the welterweight championship situation during a media scrum on Friday at the ceremonial weigh-in for UFC 231 at the Scotiabank Arena and when asked who was the primary responsible for the division's title, he put only one name.

"Woodley," White said. "When is Woodley ready to fight anyone?"

Woodley's last title defense, a second round victory over Darren Till at UFC 228, occurred only three months ago, but minor concussions kept him on the shelf and out of a presumed contest with rival Colby Covington.

When it was mentioned that Woodley's last fight was recent, White offered an exasperated reply.

"And it took us forever to get him to fight in this fight," White said. "The guy never wants to fight. You want to be a world champion, but you do not want to fight anyone. This is a problem."

After Woodley's victory over Demian Maia in July last year, he took a break to deal with a shoulder injury and the UFC created a provisional title in his absence, won by Covington at UFC 225. That seemed to put them both in one collision. Of course, but Woodley went on to face Till, and Covington has not competed since.

Although White has put much of the burden on Woodley for the complications of marriage, he made it clear that authorities are not expecting either to make a decision.

"You know what happens? The world goes on without you guys, "White said. "Obviously, I have to deal with it here and I go home on Saturday night after the fight and we'll see these things next week."

Given the recent announcement that an upcoming flyweight championship main event will take place between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw was moved from UFC 233 on January 26 to the Brooklyn event on January 19 and several of the other titles are set to be or have been recently disputed, it stands to reason that a welterweight championship bout can be slotted as the new UFC 233 headliner in Anaheim, California

However, White said that "it's not a block" and that much of it has to do with waiting for an injury to Woodley's thumb to clear up. White then suggested that Woodley might be doing more to fight his setbacks, using Conor McGregor as an example.

"You have to understand, I know guys like Conor McGregor, I know all the guys behind the scenes," White said. "You do not remember when Conor McGregor said," Who needs a thumb? You do not even need a finger to fight. "Conor has struggled with so many injuries that it's ridiculous, even when Conor does not say that publicly.

"So when you're used to dealing with guys like that and you get a guy with a thumb, and it's not just one thing, it's always something with Woodley."

White and Woodley have had a love-hate relationship for years, with White praising Woodley's abilities, while also criticizing some of his performances and his public exchanges with the company's chairman.

One of the establishments that Woodley uses regularly to vent his frustrations is The Hollywood Beatdown, a program he hosts for TMZ, and his comments made through the tabloid site, particularly, got stuck in White's craw.

"He just came out on his real job, TMZ, and said he was looking for February or something and we said," No, we never said – listen, when Tyron Woodley wants to fight, we do not say, & # 39. No. Then that was not true and if you realize, TMZ knocked over the clip because that was not true.It's not true and they took it all out, "White said.

"What's going to happen now is that these interviews are going to come out and he's going to get all upset," This guy does not respect me and he does not do this and that "and all that shit. Woodley, let's do it again, and then we'll see when the guy ends up fighting, it's like Groundhog Day, that's what happens every moment.

Ironically, White had nothing but good things to say about one of Woodley's training partners, Ben Askren, a new addition to the UFC midfielder list that has rivaled White for years.

"Look, all this time Ben Askren and I had this thing, this guy wants to fight everyone," White said of undefeated welterweight. "I love it.I love guys – especially in the 70-pound division – it's a breath of fresh air when you have a guy who wants to fight with everyone.I like that.

"I like your attitude and I like where your head is. A guy like that will get away with this company.

With names like Askren, Covington, Kamaru Usman and Santiago Ponzinibbio, among others, lining up for a shot at gold, he suggested to White that another interim situation could be created or Woodley might even be stripped; however, White did not make a firm statement about the possibility of vacating the current championship.

"I'm not talking about anything, I'm saying the fights will continue to happen," White said. "Whether you fight or not fight, we will continue."


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