Tyron Woodley seems to be recovering nicely from his shoulder surgery this past December.
The Chosen One last competed in the Octagon against Demian Maia at UFC 214 this past July. He won the fight via unanimous decision, however, it was received very poorly by fans. The bout even broke the record for least punches thrown in a UFC title fight.
Since his injury layoff, an interim welterweight title fight has been put in place and is set to go down this weekend at UFC 225. No. 1-ranked Rafael dos Anjos will take on No. 4-ranked Colby Covington. It’s likely the winner will reserve a date with Woodley in the near future to unify their championships.
Woodley recently spoke to MMA Junkie Radio to discuss his injury recovery and a possible return date. The 170-pound king names UFC 227 from Los Angeles on August 4th as his desired destination. That card is currently headlined by a bantamweight championship rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt:
“I’m projected to be back Aug. 4,” Woodley said. “That’s when I want to fight. I want to fight in L.A. I’m ready. I’ve been starting to go 100 percent on a lot of things. Obviously I’m still doing rehab, still getting the strength back. But it’s not restricting me from a lot.”
At this point in his career as champion, Woodley feels that he has earned some leeway in being able to have some say in when and where he fights next. L.A. is next on his radar, and he’s letting it be known:
“I’m not really concerned with who’s ready, who’s next,” Woodley said. “You’ve got to realize there are certain rights you deserve as a champion. When I’m ready to fight, now it’s time to fight. Whoever they got for me to fight at this time, come get this work. I don’t want to sit back and say, ‘Oh, I want to sit and wait to see what happens with this fight.’ I’m the champion. I want to fight.
“Some of these bouts should’ve taken place anyway, maybe not with the label of interim title. But I think at that point, you make a fight. Even if it’s somebody that’s not currently in the division. Maybe it’s Nate, maybe it’s Georges. Maybe it’s somebody else. But I’m also willing to fight all these other guys.”
Regardless of who steps into the cage with Woodley next, it doesn’t matter. In the end Woodley plans to clean out his division and move up to 185 pounds and conquer that weight class as well. Whether you throw him Darren Till, Kamaru Usman, Covington or RDA next – Woodley says they’ll all get some eventually:
“I kind of want to legitimately clean the division,” Woodley said. “I wouldn’t mind fighting RDA, Colby, USman, Till, and at that point, unless another prospect emerges, I’ve cleaned out the division. And I’m the greatest weltereight of all time at that point. And then it’s time to go up to 185, and I want that belt. …
“I want to finish off my division. When it’s all said and done, I did everything I could do there. I want to go up and challenge myself once again, and I want to try to win the belt at ’85 and defend there and pretty much retire as a middleweight.”
What do you think about Woodley possibly returning in L.A. this August? Who would you like to see him fight? Let us know in the comments!