UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has been on the sidelines since July of 2017, but he recently laid out a map for his return to the Octagon.
Following a stint where he fought in four UFC title fights in the span of 12 months, Woodley has taken some time off. Though he initially was looking to land a big money fight against Georges St-Pierre or Nate Diaz following his title defense against Demian Maia at UFC 214, when neither of those bouts materialized, Woodley opted to have shoulder surgery that he'd been putting off.
That was in December. On Wednesday night, on UFC Tonight, Woodley gave an update on his progress and his prospects for a return.
“I feel really good. I had surgery in December. I had two series of PRP, as well as stem cell injections to my shoulder. I have one more series in April. After that, I’ll be in training camp,” Woodley said.
The champ has recently been talking about training undefeated, but retired, boxer Floyd Mayweather for a potential UFC debut, but he could do that without being at full strength. Woodley is already training again, just not to the extent it would take for him to be fight ready any time soon.
“I fought four world title fights in 12 months, if anybody deserves to heal and be back at 100 percent (it's me). I will be back when it’s time for Tyron Woodley to be back,” Woodley added.
“My projection is July. The doctors are telling me that. I’m feeling good about it. I’m healing up very well. I’m back to training again. After I do that third series of PRP and stem cells, I’m gonna be 100 percent. Somebody is getting hurt.”
While Woodley is recovering, the welterweight division is moving forward. It appears that top contender Rafael Dos Anjos is going to face fellow contender Colby Covington at UFC 224 in May in Brazil, and there has been speculation about Kamaru Usman facing Darren Till in late May in Liverpool, England.
If both of those bouts take place, the smoke should clear on Woodley's next defense.
“Everybody is gonna get it. It doesn’t matter. It’s just a matter of when. At the end of the day, every welterweight that wants to be at the top is gonna have to see me at some point,” Woodley said when asked about who is next for him.
“I could fight (Rafael Dos Anjos), I could fight Colby (Covington), I could fight (Kamaru) Usman, I could fight Darren Till. It’s a good time for the sport because I’ve got the red dot on me, but to be honest, I don’t think any of these guys want to see me. I’ve already beat the toughest guys in the division. I’m the champion for a reason. I got here the old school way,” he continued.
“They are doing what they are supposed to. They’re supposed to want to fight me. They’re supposed to want to be the UFC champion, but it’s not gonna happen.”