Dana White spoke to ESPN’s SportCenter recently to announce the official return of the former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, but also used the opportunity to straighten out the promotion’s current 170lb champ, Tyron Woodley.
Tyron Woodley is something of an odd character. His problems with the fans all seem to be ones that could well have been avoided, but now, with him growing increasingly frustrated, he has found himself digging into a hole that been growing deeper by the week. His rants and outbursts of late really haven’t endeared him to the fighting world, and regardless of whether or not they hold any substance, it seems as though Woodley is genuinely confused as to why his reception from the fans hasn’t been warmer.
With him scheduled to face Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson this weekend at UFC 209, he will, of course, understand that his best hope of winning the affection of the masses will be to go out there and put on a show, a sentiment that the UFC’s President Dana White most certainly agrees with.
The pair exchanged barbs over the week with White calling Woodley the biggest drama queen on the roster, a criticism that Tyron threw directly back in the direction of the promotion’s head honcho. It was all fairly childish but now, in his recent appearance on ESPN’s SportCenter White used his platform to shut the welterweight champion down, telling him to refocus his attention on his upcoming fight.
Dana, who was appearing on ESPN to announce the return of Georges St-Pierre for a middleweight title bout with Michael Bisping later this year, had this to say on the outspoken champion Woodley, who had previously criticised the UFC 209 promo material’s emphasis on his opponent, Thompson.
“Tyron, that’s all great stuff, great stuff. You fought to a draw in your last fight. Finish it. Finish the fight. He was resilient, it was that type of a fight. It was a back-and-forth fight, it was an amazing fight. It was a draw. If that’s what you want people to focus on, what a stud champion you are, then go in there and finish it on Saturday night and nobody will be questioning you whatsoever.”
It’s a pretty conclusive statement from the boss, to say the least. Of course, all Woodley can really do right now anyway is concentrate on doing exactly what the UFC President encouraged him to do in finishing Wonderboy, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this wasn’t the last that we heard of this noise.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena