Tyron Woodley is no longer the UFC welterweight champ, having come up short to Kamaru Usman at UFC 235. Yet he believes he could be fighting for the belt again quite soon.
Woodley is scheduled to take on Robbie Lawler — the man he knocked out to win the welterweight belt in 2016 — in the main event of UFC Minneapolis on June 29. If he can earn a second win over Lawler, he believes there will be no denying him a title shot next.
In fact, he believes his record as the welterweight champ should have earned him an immediate rematch with Usman.
“I don’t feel like I should have had to have a path [back to the belt],” Woodley said during a recent open workout (via ESPN). “I feel like I should have been able to fight [for a title shot].
”The fact that I defended my belt [five times] against true No. 1 contenders — I’m not crying over spilled milk. I know my path is going to be different. But I’m not going to fight two or three fights. I’m going to fight Robbie, and then I’m fighting for the title.”
Over the last few years, we’ve seen many former UFC champions get immediate rematches upon losing their titles, most notably Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Cody Garbrandt, and from the looks of it, Stipe Miocic. Given the precedent these rematches set, it’s understandable that a dominant former champion like Tyron Woodley believes he deserves the immediate chance to reclaim his title.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/3/2019.