Ahead of his showdown with Kamaru Usman at UFC 235, Tyron Woodley took a moment to address the retirement of welterweight great Georges St. Pierre.
Los Angeles, CA — Tyron Woodley never got to fight Georges St. Pierre. And that’s okay. Speaking at Monday’s UFC 235 media lunch in L.A., Woodley was asked by Cageside Press about his thoughts on the legendary welterweight retiring. And to be honest, it doesn’t seem as if the UFC’s reigning 170lb champion is losing any sleep over it. GSP is the fish that got away, but that’s okay.
Instead, he recognizes that GSP didn’t have much left to do in the sport. And he respects the all-time great’s decision.
Though he did get a little jab in. “I didn’t know he wasn’t retired. I thought he was retired. He hasn’t fought since what, when did he fight Bisping?” Woodley questioned when asked about St. Pierre’s retirement. “November 2017. We’re in 2019.”
That having been said, Woodley quickly added that “I think Georges has done what he needed to do in the sport. He didn’t have to prove it. Of course, I want him to fight me. Because that’s for me, that’s for my legacy.”
However, “for his legacy, he didn’t need to fight Tyron Woodley. He already fought the Johny Hendricks, the Koschecks, the Hardys, the Matt Hughes, the Jon Fitches. He already did that.” Key to Woodley is how the sport has evolved over the years. “To come back in the division, the toughest division in the world, to come back and fight us now when we have the best nutrition, the best science, the best strength and conditioning, everybody’s training with the best coaches, it’s not the same era. He doesn’t have to come back and prove that.”
Woodley does feel GSP was looking for money fights, and understandably so. “He wants to come back and tap in on PPV model he helped build. And I can’t knock him for that.”
“Coming back and fighting Bisping was smart,” Woodley added. “Bisping wasn’t known for having powerful hands, wasn’t known for being a wrestler or a grappler, so what better fight? Khabib is not very well known for being a crazy, dynamic striker. He’s a guy that’s going to wrestle you, wrestle you, take you down. That probably doesn’t put fear into Georges St. Pierre.”
‘The Chosen One’ does feel he would have given St. Pierre more trouble than either Bisping or Khabib, mind you. “To get knocked around, and get concussed, and get hit, and maybe not get that shot when you go for it, maybe I’m not the fight that he wanted. Maybe it doesn’t draw that PPV that a Khabib coming off a Conor McGregor fight would.” But again, added Woodley, “I don’t knock him for that at all, he had a great run, I think he may be the only UFC fighter I’ve seen walk away twice, with the belt each time. Hat’s off to him, he set the foundation for us, now he can go do something different.”