UFC Minneapolis: Tyron Woodley Says Win Should Deliver Title Shot; Will he Get His Wish?
Tyron Woodley expects to get a title shot if he defeats Robbie Lawler again, but will that happen?
Tyron Woodley says that if he defeats Robbie Lawler next month then a title shot has to be next. But, if the former welterweight champ does defeat Lawler for a second time, will he get his wish?
Woodley and Lawler are going to battle at UFC Minneapolis, which will go down on June 29th at the Target Center. The fight will mark the first time Woodley has fought since he lost the belt to Kamaru Usman last month via a one-sided, decision.
Well, during a recent open workout to promote the fight, Woodley had this to say about what should come next, if he’s victorious next month (quotes via ESPN MMA):
“I don’t feel like I should have had to have a path [back to the belt],” said Woodley, who ended Lawler’s reign as champion back in 2016, via a first-round knockout. “I feel like I should have been able to fight [for a title shot].
“The fact that I defended my belt [four times] against true No. 1 contenders — I’m not crying over spilled milk. I know my path is going to be different. But I’m not going to fight two or three fights. I’m going to fight Robbie, and then I’m fighting for the title.”
There you have it. Now, is Woodley right?
Well, from a legacy / meritocratic perspective, it’s hard to say no. The only welterweight champs who defended the belt more times than Woodley were Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre. Further, prior to facing Usman, Woodley was riding a seven-fight, undefeated streak and he’s currently ranked #1. So, if he defeats Lawler on June 29th, then his case for a title shot is pretty, pretty convincing.
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But, as we all know, rankings and accomplishments don’t always translate into title shots. If Woodley just squeaks by Lawler, and Usman defeats Colby Covington, if and when they fight later this year, would the UFC go with Usman – Woodley 2? Maybe not.
The promotion could turn to the winner of the July 6th fight between Ben Askren and Jorge Masvidal. In fact, if the winner of that fight scores an emphatic victory, then the UFC could go that route, even if Woodley takes out Lawler once again.
Here is the line-up to date for UFC Minneapolis.
Tyron Woodley vs. Robbie Lawler
Demian Maia vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
Jussier Formiga vs. Joseph Benavidez
Alonzo Menifield vs. Paul Craig
Chas Skelly vs. Jordan Griffin
Drew Dober vs. Marco Polo Reyes
Maurice Greene vs. Junior Albini
Roman Dolidze vs. Vinicius Moreira