Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley

Tyron Woodley never lost hope of getting the title shot that seemingly evaded him after his #1 contender bout with Johny Hendricks at UFC 192 fell off because of Hendricks’ weight cutting issues. He patiently waited for his time to come.

Nine months later, Woodley has been booked to fight ATT teammate Robbie Lawler at the main event of UFC 201 in Atlanta on July 30. Said Woodley:

“I never lost hope it was coming to fruition. I made this my training camp logo. You can delay but you can’t deny. I want to be the welterweight champion of the world.”

Woodley has played the waiting game since his bout with Hendricks was nixed. After being bypassed in favor of Carlos Condit during the next welterweight title fight, Woodley kept the faith. But it wasn’t easy. There were a myriad of speculations on who Lawler would face next. The talks of a Condit rematch floated around after that Fight of the Year candidate last January. Then there were the speculations that Georges St. Pierre would be returning to the UFC. Woodley endured those rumours and despite not being the first choice according to him, he’ll take what he deserves:

“I feel like I should have been the first option but I wasn’t the first option. I was probably the last option. God has a saying, the first shall be last and the last shall be first. … I said to Dana, hey man, how many people gotta fall out of the running to realize I’m the number one choice? I just need a chance.”

When Daniel Cormier got injured for his UFC 196 bout with Jon Jones, there were rumors that the UFC tried to put together a Lawler-Woodley title shot to replace the main event. Woodley thought it was his chance but it slipped away again as Lawler supposedly said no to the idea. Disappointed, Woodley understood that situation:

“He’s the champion, and if I was in position, I wouldn’t jump on a last-minute fight. That would be a big risk for him with very little reward, so I think he did what a champion should have done.”

Three months later, Tyron Woodley finally get his chance to prove his worth and his wait.