Tyron Woodley may have dominated Demian Maia at UFC 214 to retain his welterweight title, but he won’t be rewarded for it.
With great risk comes great reward. With no risk comes great punishment. Woodley just learned that lesson the hard way.
Entering Saturday’s scrap, UFC president Dana White said the victor would be gifted a fight against former welterweight king Georges St-Pierre in their next outing. Being GSP’s comeback bout is one of the most sought after matches in MMA given the financial ramifications – just ask Michael Bisping.
The UFC middleweight champ had been aggressively campaigning to welcome St-Pierre back to the cage, but St-Pierre’s timetable for a return didn’t satisfy White’s expectations so White claimed “that ship has sailed.”
Then Woodley put on his second straight ho-hum title defense and White decided backtrack.
“That ship [expletive] turned around and sailed back,” White said of his new/old plans.
White decided to pull the massive payday from Woodley and hand it to Bisping.
“Yep, [Bisping will now fight St-Pierre].” White clarified. “Cause I know Michael Bisping will fight. Michael Bisping will show up and fight. So yeah, I’m going to give it to him.”
White said he made the decision during the fifth round of Woodley’s lopsided performance against Maia. The crowd, who booed the fighters heavily for most of their matchup due to inactivity, weren’t the only ones irked.
“You ask fans if they want to see Woodley fight again,” White said of his welterweight title holder. “I think that would be flat out no. Who wants to pay to see Tyron Woodley fight again?” White said. “He is an absolute physical specimen. The guy could have finished that fight at any time he wanted to, but he didn’t want to take the risks.
“You take no risks, you get no rewards.”
When told of White’s unexpected decision, Woodley had no words.
“I have no reaction to that, my man,” Woodley said at the UFC 214 post-fight press conference.
So even though Woodley won Saturday, he actually lost. And even though Bisping sat behind the Fox Sports 1 analyst desk in a crispy suit last night, he actually won.
Bisping revealed earlier this year that he’s “never had a $1 million payday” through 37 professional fights, and that’s why he was finally hoping to bank in a bout with St-Pierre. Christmas has come early to the Bisping household, and their Santa Claus came in the form of a less-than-spectacular Tyron Woodley.
It has been reported Bisping and St-Pierre will collide November 4 at UFC 217 inside NYC’s famed Madison Square Garden.