Woodley expecting UFC to book Lawler-Condit rematch: “I’m just preparing myself to be heartbroken again”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

“Even before the fifth round, the way that the fight was going, I already was thinking, ‘goddamnit, they’re about to do this fight again.’ We are in the era of the rematch. People want to see a rematch every other weekend. How many rematches have you seen? In this situation, unfortunately, [there’s] a little bit of damn controversy. But there’s more variables than just that. Carlos Condit is mentioning retiring, so there’s two ways that could go. He could retire and then it’s obvious who’s fighting next – this man right here – or he can go up to Dana White and be like, ‘hey man, if I don’t fight my fight for the title, I’m going to retire.’ And what do you think they’re going to do? They’re going to line his pockets and they’re going to make it happen.

…I’ve never asked for a fighter who wasn’t either a No. 1 contender or a former title holder or a title challenger. Think about my route. Jake Shields, fought for the title, he was a Strikeforce champ. Carlos Condit was an interim champ and fought for the title. Rory MacDonald. Everyone I’ve asked for. Johny Hendricks. It’s not by design. People say, ‘Tyron picks fight.’ You’re damn right I pick fights. The fights I pick are hard. They’re harder than the ones people offer me, and they’re the people who are either No. 1 contenders or have formerly fought for the title. That’s my goal to the top. I want to leave no question. So with that said, I have not talked with them [the UFC]. I think they know the right thing to do. Some things gotta sort out, and I’m also logical. I know that people want to see Carlos Condit vs. Robbie Lawler 2, and I’m just preparing myself to be heartbroken again. But I’m telling you, if get heartbroken, it’s going to get somebody hurt. It will get somebody hurt real bad.”

-Tyron Woodley talks to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour to express the futile realization that he’s unlikely to get the next UFC Welterweight Title fight after UFC 195’s Robbie Lawler-Carlos Condit main event, and why he’ll take it out on whomever the UFC decides to put him in against next.

Penick’s Analysis: The biggest thing working against Woodley right now, aside from the reasonable rematch between Lawler and Condit, is that he hasn’t fought in a year, and that win over Kelvin Gastelum came in an unfortunately dull fight. Now, it’s not his fault that Gastelum was hospitalized due to a bad weight cut, making that less of a fight than it could have been. It’s also not his fault that Johny Hendricks’ disastrous weight cut canceled their bout last minute in the fall. Still, his fault or no, the reality is he’s not the entertaining pick for the UFC at this moment in time, and even from a “deserving the shot” standpoint other more active fighters can overtake his spot in line. He needs to fight again sometime soon, and he needs to deliver on hurting someone “real bad” in order to solidify his position as a worthy title challenger.

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