Tyron Woodley spoke to TMZ Sports recently and broke down exactly how he felt about Khabib Nurmagomedov after watching him fight for the very first time at UFC 219.
It’s hard to imagine but the UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has claimed that UFC 219 was the first time that he had ever witnessed a full Khabib Nurmagomedov fight. The Russian managed to put on a grappling clinic for the ages when he met the fearsome finisher, Edson Barboza, last Saturday and though Woodley has fought on the same card as him before, he seemed to be absolutely blown away by his experience seeing him fight.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, Tyron put forth his belief that Nurmagomedov should be represented in the top-5 of the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings simply because of the ridiculousness of his grappling prowess.
“I had never watched a whole Khabib-fight. I had watched highlights and some clips.
“When a man is telling you to give up and quit mid-fight, he’s on a whole other level. But when I watched this fight [Khabib/Barboza], I was at the FOX desk and I saw the type of terminator spirit he had dwelling in the inside, he’s a whole different individual. I’m like, ‘does he fight like this all the time?’ Can we please get him in the top-5 pound-for-pound, without a belt.
“I’m going to go on record and say that this dude should be in the top-5 [pound-for-pound], I haven’t seen many guys that dominant.”
After being shown a video of Nurmagomedov expressing an interest in fighting him at some point, Woodley – with his tongue firmly in his cheek – responded in pretty hilarious fashion.
“Try to get me the Diaz fight or the Georges St-Pierre fight, don’t throw me in there with a dude that’s fighting bears. Hey Dana, remember Nate asked for that 15 million, [I want] 16 million.”
It’s funny because Tyron actually matches up as well with Khabib as anyone on the roster. He was strong enough to defend all 24 of the former-middleweight title-challenger Demian Maia’s takedown attempts at UFC 214, and while Khabib is certainly a different level in terms of ability in the clinch, Woodley would bring a size difference that could pay dividends on the night.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena