Tyron Woodley considering vacating 170-pound title to face St-Pierre at middleweight

Tyron Woodley considering vacating 170-pound title to face St-Pierre at middleweight

Tyron Woodley is toying with the idea of moving up to the middleweight division to chase a fight with Georges St-Pierre.

By Oscar Willis - 4 Dec 2017

Tyron Woodley has, for the longest time, wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre.

As a welterweight himself, Woodley has risen through the rankings with the Canadian firmly imprinted into MMA lore as an example of how glorious a career can be. After all, St-Pierre’s ability, longevity and general achievements are rivaled by few and matched by fewer — a perfect example for Woodley to emulate in his own career.

When St-Pierre returned to the sport, Woodley thought he had his opportunity. After having looked up to St-Pierre for years, Woodley wanted to defeat Georges in what would be a huge step into putting his own name into the record books and towards his own Hall of Fame spot.

Instead, St-Pierre went to middleweight, and Woodley was left dismayed — although he’s not ready to be denied just yet.

“Before Georges started having whatever the condition he had,” Woodley said, speaking backstage at UFC 218. “I considered making a move up to 185 and fighting at that weight class. [Give up] my belt at welterweight and fight him for the middleweight title and stay at middleweight.

“I’m not going up to middleweight because I think that would boost me on the pound-for-pound [list]. I want to fight Georges, and he’s not fighting in my weight. So I’ll come up and see you there. And I do think there are some guys I can compete with in the middleweight division. I’m going to be so much faster. I don’t think I’m giving up that much power in the punching.

“Guys like Chris Weidman, Jacare, Luke Rockhold – brothers have got some size on me. I have to be real creative. But in reality I think I’m a competitor and I will find a way to do what I need to do.”

However, while all that sounds good on paper, Woodley knows — particularly in today’s MMA climate — it’s not as simple as announcing a move up to a new division and being granted a title fight.“Does Georges need to fight me?” Woodley said. “No. He’s done what he needed to do. He’s been through the specialists, he’s been through the freestyle fighters, and he’s been through the fighters that are the wrestlers with heavy hands. He’s done it.

“He’s coming back in the sport because he built the blueprint for the pay-per-view. We’ve sort of seen it take off, the sport started really catching fire. Now he wants to come back and participate in some of those points. He doesn’t have nothing to prove. And I’m not the guy he’ll want to fight right now.”