35-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 18-3-1
December 19, 2017 Tyron Woodley News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Woodley underwent successful surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder Tuesday, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
Woodley suffered the injury during his title-defending win over Demian Maia back in July and ultimately opted to go under the knife after failing to get booked for his desired fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 219 on Dec. 30. It's unclear how long he'll be sidelined at this point, though a clearer timetable for his recovery should become available in the near future.
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Fantasy AnalysisWoodley suffered a partially torn labrum during his title-defending win over Demian Maia back in July. While he was initially contemplating surgery, Woodley ultimately decided to go under the knife after a potential fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 fell through. It's unclear when the reigning welterweight champion will be able to get back in the Octagon, though a timeframe for his recovery should come into focus following the procedure.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley was trying to get back in the cage against Nate Diaz at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 this year, but the matchup won't be happening. As a result, Woodley scheduled his shoulder surgery with every intention of moving forward with it. However, he's been having second thoughts lately. "Feeling strong and good and that the sport needs him right now," he is reconsidering the repair.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley has been dealing with a torn shoulder labrum for the last few months, and has ultimately decided to have surgery to fix the issue. At this point in time, it's unclear when the reigning welterweight champion will be back in full health, but a timeframe for his eventual return should become clear after he has the procedure.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley admitted in an interview Monday that he tore his shoulder labrum at UFC 214 on Saturday. It's likely that the welterweight champion will need surgery to repair his shoulder, potentially making his recovery longer than the mandatory 180 days. This rules Woodley out for a title defense at November's event at The Madison Square Garden, and will potentially sideline him until 2018.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley did not receive more than the seven-day minimum medical suspension following Saturday's fight, but this injury potentially carries a six-month return timetable. Although Woodley's sentiment towards UFC President Dana White (and his post-fight criticisms) may have overshadowed the interview, he did mention this important detail about his health. Though Woodley seemed to indicate that surgery would be on tap, he did acknowledge that he will seek multiple second opinions. After Woodley successfully defended his title at UFC 214, White was highly critical of Woodley's inactivity, and even admitted that he lost a potential matchup against Georges St-Pierre due to a performance that was heavily scrutinized for a lack of strikes thrown. Regardless of what one makes of the dispute, it doesn't sound like Woodley will be in the Octagon in the near future.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley won the fight and he's leaving with his belt, although he didn't really win anything. He popped Maia with a few shots every once in a while, but he was content with stuffing all 21 of the Brazilian's takedown attempts and doing little else. A large portion of this sport is about entertainment and this was about as bad of a title fight as you will ever see. The crowd was actually chanting "boring" at one point. It felt like a WWE event. Woodley landed just 57 significant strikes and he won easily. That number tells you all you need to know about how this one went. "The Chosen One's" stock dropped significantly despite the victory.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley is coming off his second title defense against Stephen Thompson in March, and recently called out Damia Maia for his next fight. He'll get his wish and is now scheduled to take on the jiu-jitsu specialist at UFC 214. Both fighters are currently on a roll, with Woodley winning four of his last five fights (one draw) and Maia securing seven straight of his own. Maia is the absolute last fighter any welterweight wants to be on the mat with, but fortunately for Woodley, a stellar 91 percent takedown defense should help him avoid that situation. Even though Woodley comes from a wrestling background, it would be in his best interest to keep this fight on the feet at all costs, as Maia cannot match his power in the stand-up game.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley is ready to defend his welterweight title against a top contender and is asking for jiu-jitsu specialist Demian Maia, who is currently riding a seven-fight winning streak. The invitation to battle it out has been sent by Woodley, leaving the final steps in the hands of UFC matchmakers. Woodley is hoping for the fight to go down at UFC 214 -- a card headlined by a light heavyweight championship bout between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
Fantasy AnalysisYes, these are the same two men who produced a Fight of the Night at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. Other than one takedown attempt in Round 3 and a huge combination late in Round 5, Woodley was suspiciously inactive throughout the fight. He let Thompson dictate the pace and he spent long stretches of time with his back up against the cage. He did a terrific job once again of avoiding Thompson's combinations on the feet, just like he did in the first fight, but he attempted so little offense that it makes you wonder if he entered the fight with an injury. Truthfully, Woodley is quite lucky to still be UFC Welterweight Champion. The fight could have easily been scored a draw or even 48-47 Thompson. Woodley and Thompson are two of the best fighters in the world in any weight class, but the stock of both took a hit on this night. Demian Maia probably deserves the next shot at Woodley's title, but he accepted a fight against Jorge Masvidal in May. If Maia survives that, expect him to be next in line. No matter who he defends against next, Woodley better pick up the pace if he wants to hang onto his belt.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley broke the news before the promotion did via his personal podcast Monday, but the UFC's announcement makes the news official. The two will go toe-to-toe in Vegas in what will be a rematch of a bout that earned Fight of the Night honors back on Nov. 12. In their first time out, Woodley relied heavily on his striking against a lengthier Thompson, despite his extensive wrestling background. This cost him several rounds on the scorecard, so it will be intriguing to see if he decides to mix up his strategy in the rematch.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley broke the news in an informal matter, and we haven't actually seen a fight agreement signed, though Fox Sports later confirmed that this bout was the expected headliner. The current UFC welterweight champion initially seemed to be ducking Thompson after they fought to a majority draw at UFC 205, but that no longer appears to be the case. The two earned Fight of the Night honors at the last event, with Thompson actually picking up the striking advantage in rounds two, three and five. A stellar fourth round is likely what saved the fight for Woodley, as he was nearly able to earn the finish. Now in line for a rematch, it remains to be seen whether Woodley will look to utilize his wrestling more, as he seems to be at a disadvantage on the feet, both physically and technically.
Fantasy AnalysisAll things considered, Woodley should consider himself fortunate that he is walking out of MSG with his belt. The champion implemented his wrestling game early and was successful with it. He was able to control Thompson on the mat en route to easily winning Round 1. Woodley foolishly abandoned his takedown attempts from then on and he paid for it. Woodley dropped Rounds 2 and 3 (although Round 3 was close) before he bounced back in a big way in Round 4. Woodley decked Wonderboy with a monster right hand before clamping on a pair of super-tight guillotines. It was a minor miracle that Thompson survived, but Woodley was gassed after going for the finish on multiple occasions and not being able to get it. Woodley staggered to the finish with Thompson getting the far better of the action in the final frame. The champion's big flurry in Round 4 is the only reason he still has the title around his waist. If an immediate rematch between the two men is forthcoming, and it should be, Woodley needs to do all he can to try and ensure it doesn't turn into another kickboxing match. Especially one in which he spends the vast majority of the fight with his back up against the fence. He won't be as lucky next time around.
Fantasy AnalysisRobbie Lawler is known as one of the most durable men in the game, but even he couldn't handle the power T-Wood possess in his hands. Woodley's first-round KO of Lawler in July shocked many, but Woodley has always had that kind of ability. Unfortunately, his first title defense is going to come against the best pure striker in the welterweight division, and arguably the entire company. If Woodley wants to retain his title, leaning on his wrestling game in an attempt to grind out a win appears to be the best course of action.
Fantasy AnalysisDespite being the current champion, Woodley has opened as the betting underdog against Thompson, a younger fighter that is riding a seven-fight winning streak. Woodley had repeatedly asked for a big-money fight, and although it's not the opponent he had in mind, he'll still be fighting on a big stage in New York. "The Chosen One" might have more one-punch knockout power than his opponent, but Thompson is a patient, diverse striker that could give Woodley trouble.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley has been perfectly clear about his aspirations to fight either Nick Diaz, or Georges St-Pierre in his return, but it sounds like UFC brass isn't quite on the same page. The newly crowned welterweight champion even took to his personal Twitter account to express his dismay with the announcement. Woodley understandably wants a bigger money fight, but it doesn't sound like Dana White believes he has earned that right just yet. Wonderboy is a deserving and skilled opponent, and could represent a major road block to Woodley getting his wishes granted.
Fantasy AnalysisThis is the guy who hadn't fought in more than 18 months? Looking calm and relaxed from the opening bell, Woodley moved effortlessly before connecting with the strike that ended the fight. He faked a left jab that Lawler bit on and unloaded with one of his trademark over-the-top right hands. The end result was a shot that sent the former champion crumbling to the mat and forced referee Dan Miragliotta to step in and call off the bout. A post-fight interview on FS1 led to an exchange between Woodley and No. 1 contender Stephen Thompson in which Thompson, who was serving as a guest analyst for the night, asked Woodley for the next title shot. Woodley stated he'd rather take a big-money fight against Nick Diaz instead. The new champ can state anything he wants, but it's highly likely that his first title defense will be against Wonderboy.
Fantasy AnalysisAn October fight that was scheduled between Woodley and Johny Hendricks was cancelled when Hendricks had issues cutting weight and the end result is that Woodley has been on the sidelines for more than 18 months on the sidelines. That's never good for any fighter, especially so for a 34-year-old. Woodley has insane one-punch KO power, but Lawler is the crisper striker and better at putting together combinations. Woodley is a darn good fighter, but the three best wins of his career are against Kelvin Gastelum (split), Dong Hyun Kim and Tarec Saffiedine. His win over Carlos Condit was the result of Condit blowing out his knee, so that doesn't really count. Facing Lawler in the main event of a PPV is an entirely different animal. We'll see how Woodley responds to the pressure.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley hasn't seen the octagon since January 2015, and although he was scheduled to take on Johnny Hendricks in October, that fight never went down after Hendricks failed to make weight. Since then, Woodley has held a firm stance that he would not fight again until getting a title shot. Finally, his wish will be granted at UFC 201 in Atlanta (though it does work out in his favor that the No. 1 and No. 2 welterweight contenders are scheduled to square off June 18). Woodley has never been given an opportunity to earn a belt in the UFC, but has solid knockout power and has demonstrated effective submissions in his early Strikeforce career. It should be an intriguing, high-stakes bout.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley had originally been scheduled to fight Johny Hendricks at UFC 192, but that bout was cancelled after Hendricks failed to make weight. Rather than settle for a buffer fight, Woodley will take a break from the octagon until he has a chance at the welterweight belt. This likely won't pan out until the middle of 2016, as the next logical opponent would be the winner of the Robbie Lawler/Carlos Condit fight at UFC 195 on Jan. 2.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley will be paid his show money and get the winner of January's title fight between current champion Robbie Lawler and challenger Carlos Condit. That's the good news. The bad news is that even if Woodley's title shot takes place next May (which would seem to be the earliest it could happen), he would have gone over 15 months between fights. Perhaps Woodley can step in if Condit gets injured between now and January 2, but otherwise it seems like he is going to be sitting on the sidelines for an awful long time.
Fantasy AnalysisAlthough there's been a lot of chatter on Twitter about potential replacements for Hendricks in Saturday's fight, it's unlikely Woodley would accept a new challenger on short notice. He had been vocal about wanting to win a fight bonus, however, so the possibility remains open. For now, it would be wise to remove Woodley from any fantasy lineups prior to the start of Saturday's card.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley is coming off a broken foot that he suffered in February. Woodley has won four of his last five fights, with his only loss in that span coming against Rory MacDonald. Known for his massive knockout power, Woodley is another fighter who could easily earn himself his first title shot if he can pull off the upset against Hendricks.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley has been sidelined since breaking his foot in February, but has since been cleared to train, and now has an opponent to train for. The 33-year-old has won four of his last five bouts, with his only loss coming to Rory MacDonald in June of 2014. The winner of this matchup will surely have a strong case for the next welterweight title opportunity.
Fantasy AnalysisWoodley had been on the sidelines since he broke his foot in February. With Rory MacDonald scheduled to fight champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 next week, a fight between Woodley and Hendricks actually makes a lot of sense. Woodley hasn't fought since January, a split decision win over Kelvin Gastelum (who missed weight for the fight).