Before earning titles in two divisions at UFC 205, McGregor created subplots for fights with pretty much any fighter that crossed his path in the days leading up to the event. With McGregor, it's always what's next. After the card ended, most people suspended their disbelief and decided McGregor fighting Woodley for the welterweight title was all but signed.
"I want you to realize this about me, I'm not one of those guys that's trying to position myself off Conor. I actually ain't got no beef with Conor. He's doing his thing, he's getting what he wants to get out of the game, and I'm getting what I want to get out of the game," Woodley said on his new YouTube series The Champ Life. "But it's a few people that you can step to with that B.S. and it slide. ...I just so happen to not be one of those guys."
That's where it all started. Ariel Helwani ran play-by-play on the gangster check between McGregor and Woodley like he was Werner Herzog narrating a nature documentary. Watch as McGregor puffs out his emblazoned chest to display his markings. However, the larger male feels no threat and moves in and out of the watering hole freely.
“When he got in my face and I looked at him I said, 'I said what’s up?’ At that moment he realized I ain’t that dude. I’m really about that life. I’m really from that life. My family is from that life," Woodley said. "I try to stay sophisticated, stay professional but a few people can take you out of that element and bring that Ferguson [Missouri] back out of you and he almost did it. But I had to keep my eyes on the prize, defend my strap in a Fight of the Night performance at UFC 205."
“Now that we got that done — that’s off the table — if Conor want it he can get it. He knows how to get in touch with Dana. He knows how to get the contract set, and he really don’t want to fight," Woodley said. "I’m not saying he should want to fight because I’m not a little dude. I ain’t Nate Diaz. Nate Diaz is not a welterweight. He did not do well at welterweight because he was undersized and these dudes are real gorillas in this weight class.”
Woodley isn't saying anything that isn't truth. #NateDiaz went 2-2 at welterweight and got rag-dolled by #RoryMacDonald before moving back to his home division. McGregor went 1-1 with Diaz at welterweight and they were both the toughest fights of his entire career. Of course, styles make fights, but there is a point where size simply matters and as Woodley says, 'there’s levels to this'. It takes more than one hyena to take down a lion.
Warnings, weight classes and title belts aside, if #ConorMcGregor really wants to be 'about that life,' Woodley seems more than happy to see what plays out on the MMA Serengeti. And he seems serious. Deadly serious.
“So, if you want to get in there with a lion and get your head bit off and have me spewing your blood all over the octagon while you’ve got that goofy tiger tattoo on your chest, looking like a clown with a clown on your chest, we can do it," Woodley said. "We can do it in Ireland, Dublin, we can do it in the back of White Castle, I don’t care. But just know, I ain’t that guy."