Tyron Woodley: 'I'm the new generation of the sport, and I'll prove it'

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Tyron Woodley feeling confident heading into 'toughest test' against Carlos Condit at UFC 171

In mid-December, UFC president Dana White spoke to Nick Diaz and asked him if he would be interested in facing Carlos Condit for a second time. Diaz, who lost to Condit at UFC 143, was not interested, and turned down the fight. Hearing that news, Tyron Woodley put his thumbs to use and incessantly texted White looking for the fight. After initially saying thanks, but no, the UFC changed its mind and offered Woodley the fight against Condit.

Condit and Woodley will square off in the co-main event of UFC 171 on March 15. Condit (29-7) is coming off a fourth round TKO win over Martin Kampmann at UFC Fight Night 27. Woodley (12-2) last fought at UFC 167, earning Knockout of the Night for his first round KO of Josh Koscheck.

The UFC's initial reluctance to book the fight may have had something to do with where the fighters stand in the UFC's welterweight rankings, Condit is the No. 2 ranked contender in the division, Woodley is ranked at No. 10.

Woodley knows that he will enter the fight as the underdog, but that does not concern him in the least. In fact, Woodley appearing at the UFC on Fox 10 fan Q & A session on Friday said that was why he wanted the fight, "I didn't want this fight because I thought that it was easy, that he was a pushover. I'm actually a fan of Condit, he brings it every time. You never can count him out.

For me, I need these types of bouts. I needed the bout with Josh Koscheck because he was going to force me to use the tools that God gave me, and I think Carlos Condit is going to be my toughest test. I'm looking forward to it."

Woodley's game plan for the upcoming fight is not terribly technical, "My strategy is to be the best Tyron Woodley I can be. If I come out there like a ball of fire, I think a hard right hand to any welterweight and I'll put them on the ground. I think that I'm going to get the chance to test his chin. I think I'm going to get the chance to test his cardio that I've been hearing about," Woodley said.

As for the outcome, despite being the underdog, Woodley is very confident that he will walk away with the win, "I think I'm the new generation of the sport, and I'll prove it."

UFC 171 will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. The winner will claim the vacant UFC welterweight title.

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