Tyron Woodley is a mere couple of days removed from defending the UFC Welterweight Title against Stephen Thompson at UFC 205, but the champion is now set on potentially defending the gold against Demian Maia at UFC 207.
"2017 is gonna be a big year for me. I'm going back to the gym right now to train and move around," Woodley said on The MMA Hour. "Maybe December 30 they want me to go in there again and get it on again, I'd be ready. What am I waiting on? I'm not hurt. I know I could've given a little more in that fight. It was a great performance, but I'm always anticipating the 'hey man can you jump in' on this short notice call so I never want to be taken off guard."
Maia though, is in a tough spot because Woodley fought Thompson to a majority draw at UFC 205, a rematch between the two can push Maia’s potential title shot back.
"I feel your pain brother, I'm not even going to lie," Woodley said. "I'm a martial artist and my teammate Anthony Pettis was in the same situation with Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard when they had a draw. I respect him as a martial artist and in the case of a victory (against Wonderboy Thompson) I would compete against him. We had some words in the back and he said he wanted to compete against me. I said, 'Hey man, I'm not against that'. The thing is I'm not against anything. People like you to hear any time any place because it sounds great, but as a true sportiest, I'm not against doing the right thing. I've been in the number one contender spot four times and one time did I get the actual shot I know what he's going through mentally so my message to him is I respect him as a fighter, he's a guy that's on my radar obviously and I want to compete against him. I see what he's [Maia] done to the guys in the Octagon and as I always do, I want to get in there with guys that do well and I want to put them in my world."
However, as much as Woodley may want to defend his belt against Maia, it's on the UFC brass to make that call.
"Let's see what the UFC decides," Woodley said. "Stephen is busted up. His nose, his face, his eyes are shut. We don't know what they [UFC] want to do. Maybe it's time for me to get a fight in with Maia in December and if Wonderboy wants to get into after that maybe we get it on then. Who knows. All I'm saying is I'm not against anything."
UFC 207 takes place on Friday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey headlining.