SACRAMENTO, Calif. - UFC president Dana White was looking to book Hector Lombard vs. Tyron Woodley as the headliner for a December show in Australia.
According to the UFC president, Lombard, the former Bellator middleweight champion, was down to fight Woodley, his American Top Team teammate. But White said Woodley wasn't.
White told reporters on Friday that he sat down with Woodley after his quick win over Dong Hyun Kim in Macau last weekend and asked him to take the fight. He also pointed out that with Woodley, Lombard, and Robbie Lawler all in the welterweight division's top five, and all in the same camp, two of the three were destined to tangle.
"I sat down with Woodley after his fight in China," White said. "And, he won easily, quick in and out. I said listen, we need you again, what do you think about fighting Hector Lombard in Australia, main event. He said ‘that's my teammate man, I don't want to fight my teammate.' I said dude, your teammate, you guys are three of the top five. You have to fight each other."
White says he ran the scenario past ATT founder Dan Lambert, one of MMA's most respected, longtime figures, and got his blessing.
"I talked to Dan Lambert and I said listen, this is the fight I want to make," White said. "So Lambert hits me back and says, Lombard's in, he wants the fight. Still talking to Woodley. He hits me again and says Woodley's out, Woodley won't take the fight."
According to White, Lombard sent a text message on Friday underscoring his interest in the bout.
"I'm literally flying here [to Sacramento], I'm on the plane, I'm wheels up, and I get a text from Hector Lombard that says, ‘please get this Woodley fight done for me, I want this fight so bad, he's a two-faced phony and I want to beat his ass.' Literally what he said to me. So I called Woodley when I landed, and said, obviously this isn't a teammate thing, here's what your teammate said, and he wants this fight bad. And he said he can say whatever he wants, he's about him and he's always about him, this fight doesn't work for me and my brand. He started telling me all these reasons why he doesn't want this fight. I said, whatever kid. Do your thing. But he wants nothing to do with Hector."
So it's back to the drawing board for White, who still wants to headline the Dec. 8 card in Sydney with the fighter formerly known as "Lightning," but now known as "Showeather."
"Lombard will fight somebody," White said. "We'll figure it out."
Woodley has not yet commented on the situation.
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