Tyron Woodley will defend his UFC Welterweight Championship in March, but The Chosen One has his eyes set on a bigger target by the end of the year.
Woodley will defend his UFC Welterweight title against Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 on March 2. This will be his fifth UFC title defense.
The Chosen One has been the UFC Welterweight Champion since he defeated Robbie Lawler for the title back in July 2016, but by the time 2019 comes to a close, he wants a new challenge.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, via ESPN, Woodley revealed of his desires to completely dominate the rest of the challengers in the welterweight division before moving up to middleweight by 2020.
He said: ”People in the middleweight (division), they need to watch out too. I might slide up on one of y’all by the end of the year.
“Wipe out the division clean at welterweight and go up there and either beat (Kelvin) Gastelum up again or take out Robert Whittaker. They are both welterweights anyways. They just don’t know how to cut weight.”
The Chosen One has been looking for a test outside the welterweight division for some time. Since UFC 201, he has called out for fights Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, Nate Diaz, and Michael Bisping, but to no avail.
As for the first fighter in his way that could stop him from reaching that goal in Usman, Woodley isn't worried about him at all.
He said: ”Kamaru Usman? He’s not ready for me yet. He’s not mature enough in the sport yet to be able to withstand what I’m going to bring at him.
”What’s Kamaru going to do, take me down? He’s going to out-strike me? He’s going to punch harder than me? He’s going to out-strategize me with fight IQ? He’s a version of myself five years ago.”
If he can defend his welterweight title two more times this year, Woodley might finally get his wish from UFC, and he believes that too. Only Usman and Colby Covington stand in his way.
He said: "Whooping up Usman, whooping up Colby, and then finishing out with one more fight at the end of the year, I think that’s gonna be a great year for me.
"It’ll be the first time I’m up for Fighter of the Year, so that’s what I’m excited about."