UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has blasted his boss Dana White following criticisms levelled at the fighter by the UFC president.
White was critical of the manner in which Woodley defended his title against Demian Maia at UFC 214 at the weekend and has moved to rebook Michael Bisping in a clash with the returning Georges St-Pierre rather than give it to Woodley.
Despite claiming a unanimous victory over Maia, Woodley was accused of delivering a boring performance by the UFC supremo.
The champion defended his title for the third time on Saturday by successfully shutting down Maia’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills but the contest failed to grab the interest of the assembled fans, who ultimately turned to booing Woodley by the end of the fight.
Claiming that Woodley “didn’t want to take risks” and that fans would likely not like to see him fight again, White was indeed quite scathing of his champion.
In the hours following his victory, however, Woodley has confirmed that he injured his shoulder during the bout, a nasty injury that could sideline the champions for months.
Following this development, Woodley responded to White’s criticisms on MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour and demanded he supports his champion and issue an apology for his criticisms.
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Responding to White’s assertion that fans wouldn’t watch him again, Woodley’s annoyance was clear,
“I don’t care so much about the fans, but when your job title is promoter, promote your f*cking fighters.
“Promote your champion. Don’t demote your champion. I threw my shoulder out in the first round, I wasn’t able to throw any damaging shots — for you guys who don’t understand what a labrum tear is, go get on Google or Wikipedia and figure it out — and I still stayed the course, I stayed on path, I stayed on point, I executed the gameplan. I had to reduce all of my shots from overhands, uppercuts, things that were hurting my shoulder, to straight punches.”
Perhaps this then explains why Woodley appeared to not go for the killer blow in the early rounds of his clash with Maia.
Continuing, Woodley revealed more about his immediate future and the surgery he has to look forward to. His frustrations appeared to boil over as he took a direct swipe at White.
“So, sorry in advance, I’m mad because I’ve had this surgery before. It’s not a fun one. It’s not a quick recovery. It’s not something that I’m excited about. I’m going to get a couple second opinions. Literally, I’m in the Uber right now, I just f*cking got out of the doctor’s office, like right this second. There’s paperwork in my hand. So I’m just, I’m owed a public apology. You’re going to publicly scrutinize me, Dana White? You publicly need to apologize to me.”
Taking the approach to publicly slam your boss may not be the best move to ensure a good working relationship but it was the not so subtle threat he then issued which will likely cause the most harm.
“You need to be a man, you owe me a public apology. And if I don’t get that, I’m going to start leaking some sh*t that people don’t want to be out in the wind. I’m not even kidding about that.”
Asked for clarification on what he meant by ‘leaks, Woodley responded,
“They know what I’m referring to. I’m due a public apology.”
Woodley has been one of the most active champions of the last 12 months, fighting in four title deciders in that time. Following his stunning victory over Robbie Lawler last July, he did the double over Stephen Thompson, though it was the second of their clashes that has led to scrutiny of Woodley’s approach to his title defences.
Whether the criticisms are warranted or not is a matter of opinion. Whatever about White’s comments following his latest victory, the fact that Woodley has now publicly threatened his boss will only serve to worsen their already straining working relationship.