Welterweight Tyron Woodley is clearly hoping to land a major fight in the wake of his impressive performance at UFC 167 against Josh Koscheck. Woodley recorded a devastating knockout of “Kos” in Las Vegas, and had been aggressively campaigning to fight Carlos Condit at UFC 171 in Dallas.
President Dana White says Woodley won’t get the no. 2 ranked Condit on March 15 because “The Chosen One” has yet to enter the top-10. However, White added he admired Woodley’s persistence in attempting to land top-flight opposition and that he’s shown he’s willing to face anyone.
Woodley is 2-1 since entering the UFC, and has scored spectacular first-round finishes of Jay Hieron and Koscheck. His only blemish came in a rather dreary affair at UFC 161 when he lost a narrow decision to Jake Shields. Shields used his grappling prowess to negate Woodley’s powerful and explosive striking game in that bout with plenty of clinch work against the cage.
Woodley obviously isn’t shying away from tough competition as he’s calling out the likes of Condit, so it will be intriguing to see who he will get in his next fight. The UFC’s 170-pound division is definitely a changing landscape with longtime welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre on a sabbatical, and Johny Hendricks meeting Robbie Lawler for the vacated belt on March 15.
While a number of top-10 welterweights are already booked into upcoming fights in 2014, there are still some possible options for Woodley. No. 9 ranked Martin Kampmann is always in entertaining fights and showed plenty of heart in his last fight, even though he was stopped by Condit at Fight Night 27. While “Hitman” has lost his last two fights by stoppage, those losses came against very dangerous opponents in Condit and Hendricks.
Another name that comes to mind for a possible opponent is Dong-Hyun Kim. “Stun Gun” is very much like Woodley in that he’s coming off a very impressive performance and is also looking to work his way into the top-10. Kim shocked Erick Silva at Fight Night 29 with a second-round one-punch stoppage in a Knockout of the Night performance in Brazil. It was the South Korean’s third straight win.
Woodley seems ready to take on all comers, and it’s clear there are some exciting options available for him as he looks to continue making a mark in a talent-rich division.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports