After a dominant performance defending his UFC welterweight title for the third time, Tyron Woodley’s complete shut-down of Demian Maia’s grappling drew stinging criticism from UFC president Dana White.
White would claim at the post-fight press conference that Woodley could have finished Maia “in the first round”, “didn’t want to take risks” and also asserted that if “you ask fans if they want to see Woodley fight again, I think that will be a flat out no.”
With his promoter’s words ringing in his ears, Tyron Woodley has heard enough.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Woodley demanded a public apology from White and threatened that he would “start leaking some s**t” if he didn’t get his way.
“Before I even do this interview I want to give a disclaimer,” Woodley started out. “I’m really upset right now. I went out there and I completely dominated a fighter who was on a seven-fight win streak… he was 21 or 22, or however many shots, came up short. How many times have we seen Demian Maia shoot that many takedowns and not at least secure one of them, even come close to one?
“I don’t care so much about the fans, but when your job title is promoter, promote your f*****g fighters,” Woodley continued. “Promote your champion. Don’t demote your champion. I threw my shoulder out in the first round, I wasn’t able to throw any damaging shots — for you guys who don’t understand what a labrum tear is, go get on Google or Wikipedia and figure it out — and I still stayed the course, I stayed on path, I stayed on point, I executed the gameplan. I had to reduce all of my shots from overhands, uppercuts, things that were hurting my shoulder, to straight punches.
“So, sorry in advance, I’m mad because I’ve had this surgery before. It’s not a fun one. It’s not a quick recovery. It’s not something that I’m excited about. I’m going to get a couple second opinions. Literally, I’m in the Uber right now, I just f*cking got out of the doctor’s office, like right this second. There’s paperwork in my hand. So I’m just, I’m owed a public apology. You’re going to publicly scrutinize me, Dana White? You publicly need to apologize to me.
“I’ve done nothing but good stuff for the sport. I’ve done nothing but be a good model for the f*****g organization. I go out there and I fight with integrity. I covered your sport from the FOX desk a week before my fight. I always uphold my responsibilities to the organization. It’s time out for that. The word behind ‘business’ is ‘man.’ You need to be a man, you owe me a public apology. And if I don’t get that, I’m going to start leaking some s**t that people don’t want to be out in the wind. I’m not even kidding about that.”
Woodley would continue to defend his performance and claimed that his treatment from all sections within MMA was disrespectful and that any critics need to give him a break.
“Everybody else gets excuses made for [them], but I’m the fighter who’s out here against all odds, against all critics, against all naysayers, against all haters, still with my hat on, still with the boos, still with everything, going and doing my job. I just need respect,” Woodley said.
“What happened to your golden boy Conor McGregor when he couldn’t get Nate Diaz out and he was missing too many punches? He folded and he quit. He laid on his stomach, and not even to a super-deep rear-naked choke, he quit. My shoulder popped out, not once, three times in that fight. I felt it the first time, I’ve had a labrum tear before, I’m like, ‘oh s**t, I think I tore my labrum.’ And then I threw a couple more overhand rights, and each time it threw out. I threw a punch to the body and it came out, then I missed a punch and it felt like it slipped out.
“But what do I have to do? I said this dude is not taking my belt, he’s not walking out of the Octagon with them saying ‘and new,’ he’s not putting on that [champion’s] jersey that I know they’ve got down there by ringside that they want to put on him so f*****g bad, he will not wear that today. And that’s what I did.
“So that’s why I’m upset, I’m upset because I don’t get the simple courtesy of a human, the simple integrity that if you have a problem, come talk to me first,” Woodley continued. “I’ve got thick skin. I’ve had some terrible fights where I deserve a little smoke for it. And guess what, did I complain when somebody said something about how Rory (MacDonald) whipped my ass? He whipped my ass, I didn’t fight that night. He came out and he gave it to me. Never have one day made an excuse.
“So when I go out there and I’m executing — we’re not talking about months, we’re talking about four weeks. Like, all the smoke and mirrors is gone. I wasn’t training for Demian Maia. I was training because that’s my job. I got the same notice that he got on that Wednesday, they announced it on UFC Tonight. I went to get [medicals] the next day, and we had three weeks to get ready to fight. What athlete you know can come out there and look like I did cardio-wise, timing-wise, being sharp, accurate, defence, on a three-week training camp? Like, y’all need to give me a break, for real.”