UFC president Dana White and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley have been at odds for the past years now. Recently, the outspoken company executive once again criticized “The Chosen One” for his absence due to a hand injury sustained from the Darren Till title fight at UFC 228 in September.
“Tell me when Woodley does want to fight. This is always an issue with Woodley. We’re going to move on. That division is stacked, we’ve got a lot of good talent,” White said.
Woodley issued a response to White’s statements on Monday’s episode of the Ariel Helwani MMA Show, where he went on to compare himself to some of his fellow fighters.
“If you really listen to what was said (by Dana White), Robbie Lawler wouldn’t mind more time because his knee needs more time to recover,” Woodley said (transcript by MMA Mania). “That sounds like an exception and a pass given to Robbie Lawler.
“Rose Namajunas is not ready to fight because of her hurt neck. That sounds like a pass is given to her. I don’t know if I am misquoting what was said, but If I am saying it correctly, Robbie Lawler tore his knee up in a fight against ‘RDA,’ how long has that been?
“So it’s been a year, and I’ve had ACL surgery, labrum surgery and every time I have a major surgery that can take six to eight months to recover, I am being pressed to fight in four or five months,” he explained. “Or to not get the surgery at all and just tough it out.”
Woodley denies ever turning down fights, including his next title defense against Colby Covington, which is being targeted to take place at UFC 233 in January in Anaheim, California.
“I’ve agreed to fight Colby. I’ve agreed to fight really anybody – that’s the funny part,” he said. “I just asked for a little more time before I can confirm (my hand is cleared). I’ve never said no to Jan. 26. Let’s get that on record.
“I actually want to fight in Anaheim. I’m undefeated in Anaheim. I’ve got a lot of strong roots in California, so it would be silly for me not to want to fight there.”
As of this posting, UFC 233 has yet to have a headliner fight. Other bouts announced on the card are Dominick Cruz vs. John Lineker, as well as Ben Askren’s UFC debut against Robbie Lawler.