I am going to make this abundantly clear. I grew up a GIANT Georges St. Pierre fan but GSP would not last in the Octagon with Woodley. Woodley is on another level, athletically, mentally, everything.
Tyron Woodley has defeated some of the best of this generation. And spoiler alert: this generation of athletes in the UFC, are WAY better than previous generations.
Don’t get me wrong, GSP defeated some absolute legends of the fight game. Condit before all of the head shots, Shields, Koscheck in his prime(twice), BJ Penn in his prime (for the love of God BJ please stop fighting), splitting with Matt Serra, beating Matt Hughes twice. The list goes on and on, but the mainstay of these, DECISIONS. GSP was a point fighter, plain and simple. A great one at that, but GSP was one of the first to really become a MIXED MARTIAL ARTIST as well. He was ahead of his time. A true pioneer of the fight game but he never possessed the power to knock somebody out and has never fought a mixed martial artist on the level of himself. He always fought guys that were technicians in one regard and had major holes in the rest of their game.
But Tyron Woodley is running the welterweight division at the height of MMA. Every fighter in the UFC now, has to be well equipped in all aspects of the fight game. There’s no more guys with specific tendencies in wrestling or striking. Woodley has some victories over some giant names in the sport and has gone on a historic run as champ. Condit, Koscheck, a decision loss to Shields are the only fights that match GSP’s run. But GSP never fought Lawler (right up there as the best ever), who Woodley knocked out (which had not happened in over a DECADE), two excellent fights with Thompson (a taller, southpaw, kickboxing world champion), a decision win over the greatest grappler in UFC history, oh yeah, with a torn fucking labrum. Oh, and he just embarrassed a taller, unbeaten assassin from Liverpool. I will admit, he’s become more of a cautious fighter since he became champ but that tends to happen when guys become champs. But his success and dominance of the Welterweight division is undeniable.
The reason I consider Woodley the GOAT at 170 pounds comes down to how these guys match up head-to-head. Let’s break it down:
Strength: Woodley (his strength may be unmatched at 170)
Size: GSP (He’s the taller of the two but height hasn’t stopped Woodley before)
Wrestling: Woodley (former two-time Division-1 All-American at Missouri. Stuffed more than 20 takedown attempts by Maia with a torn labrum….)
Stamina: GSP (Arguably the greatest stamina ever seen in the Octagon)
Striking: GSP (I’m giving him the edge despite Woodley’s one punch KO ability)
Ground game: Woodley (He just earned his BJJ Black Belt and he’s the stronger of the two. GSP wouldn’t want this fight on the ground)
There’s a reason why GSP has avoided this fight. There’s a reason he wanted no part of fighting Woodley at 170 and chose to move to 185 instead. Which, oh by the way, he used to refuse to move up to 185 for a superfight with Anderson Silva. See a pattern here? Like I said, GSP is a true pioneer of the fight game, but the greatest Welterweight of all time? No sir.
It’s time that we embrace the “Chosen One” as the best to ever fight at 170 pounds. He has taken on any and all comers and has passed every test to retain each time, even when it seemed his boss and entire company were rooting for him to fail. I hope his next test will be Colby Covington so we can see that moron get his mouth shut, but maybe, just MAYBE, we get the GSP superfight after all.