Tyron Woodley is the welterweight champ, which means he’s a good fighter. A damn good fighter. But we define greatness by different metrics, and somehow Woodley has yet to measure up in that regard.
Sure, since coming to the UFC from Strikeforce, he’s only tasted defeat at the hands of Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields, and those were via hard-fought decisions. And he’s managed to keep his belt despite epic wars with top challenger Stephen Thompson. But…
…But his quick KO of Robbie Lawler robbed us of a chance to see how Woodley would have handled a protracted battle with the veteran slugger. His win over Carlos Condit, which came when Condit fell with an injury to his knee, robbed us of that war as well. Meanwhile, when he took on Kelvin Gastelum, he barely got by with a split decision.
These wins for sure make for an accomplished champ, but a great one…? Not so much.
On Saturday, at UFC 214, Woodley faces jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia. It will be a good test. But if Woodley wants to be great, he’s going to need to win spectacularly.
The question: does he have it in him?
Here’s Joe Rogan breaking down the fight: