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Tyron Woodley: I want to ‘finish off my division’ then move up to middleweight

UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has grand plans for his immediate career future.

UFC 183: Woodley v Gastelum Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

As he continues to go through rehab for his shoulder surgery, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has yet to finalize his next fight date. But if it were up to him, he would be back by UFC 227, which takes place on August 4th in Los Angeles.

“I’m projected to be back Aug. 4. That’s when I want to fight. I want to fight in L.A,” Woodley said on a recent episode of MMAjunkie Radio. “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.”

As for the opponent, Woodley is not exactly particular, since he recognizes that there is quite a long line of contenders waiting for him.

“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,” he added. “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 Diaz, maybe it’s Georges St-Pierre. Maybe it’s somebody else. But I’m also willing to fight all these other guys.”

If he does successfully beat all comers at 170 pounds, “The Chosen One” will be looking to move up to middleweight to chase another gold belt. He is even considering making 185 pounds his new home weight class once he makes the jump.

“I kind of want to legitimately clean the division,” Woodley said. “I wouldn’t mind fighting Rafael dos Anjos, Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, Darren Till, and at that point, unless another prospect emerges, I’ve cleaned out the division. And I’m the greatest welterweight 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,” Woodley continued. “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.”

Woodley last fought at UFC 214 last July, where he successfully defended his title for the second time via a unanimous decision victory over Demian Maia.

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