Tyron Woodley is a man on a mission.
The former UFC welterweight champion hasn’t fought since he lost to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March of last year to lose his belt. He was scheduled to battle Leon Edwards but the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, “The Chosen One” is eyeing a return on May 9.
“I want to fight sooner than later,” Woodley told TMZ Sports recently (h/t MMAFighting). “One, because I think there’s a chance that a fight could go down May 9th, and then they may have in their mind, ‘Okay, May 9th we’re gonna do a card, May 16th we’re gonna do a card,’ and just kind of keep doing a card every weekend. At any point, the government could come down and smack down and say, ‘No, stop.’ ESPN, Disney, whoever. So I feel like for me, fighting May 9th makes the most sense.”
For Woodley, he says there are options for who he fights. The UFC could run back the bout with Leon Edwards or perhaps finally book the Colby Covington fight. But, for him, there is only one fight he really wants and that is the rematch with Usman.
“I don’t even care at this point,” Woodley said when asked who he wanted to fight next. “I’m seeking performances. I want to go out and I want to put three or four crazy performances in this year where people are like ‘What the f*ck did he do to Tyron? Why did he whoop his ass like that?’ That’s all I’m thinking about, so it really doesn’t matter at this point. At this point, I’m willing to fight anybody because at the end of the day everybody’s good, everybody’s tough, and when you’re the champion you don’t get a chance to pick who you fight.
“So right now I feel like I had a bad night, but I’m still the champion in my mind. I’ve still got the mentality, I’ve still got the skillset, so I’ve got to align where my mind’s at to actually getting back to that belt. So whatever fights get me to that belt, that’s what I’m doing.
“It’s not really a vendetta against Usman. Usman just beat me that night. I don’t have nothing personal against anybody. Whoever is wearing the strap when it’s time for me to go, that’s who I want to fight.”
If Woodley gets added to the May 9 card it will be considered one of the best events on paper in recent memory.