Though 10-0 welterweight Tyron Woodley is now likely on the verge of contending for the Strikeforce title in his division, it was only two fights ago that he was still headlining Strikeforce: Challengers shows.
In fact, it seemed that Woodley picked up most of his early hype from appearances on Strikeforce: Challengers cards. Despite that, he doesn’t feel that the new Strikeforce doing away with the series in favor of stacking up regular Strikeforce cards from top to bottom is any great tragedy.
“It’s not really a loss,” Woodley told FightLine.com. “The young men that were on the Challengers series. They just have to fight a little harder to make it to the main Strikeforce card, and I think it was their goal anyway. Now it’s just coming up a little faster, so it might bring in that sense of urgency.
“I do think it did a ton for me, and for my career. It gave the fans a change to get to know me and know my story, but I think all in all the guys in the Challengers – at least the ones who were on the televised portion should be good. Fighting on a more mainstream system of cards should equal out.”
But Woodley has moved beyond both Challengers and the preliminary card, having racked up wins last year over the likes of Tarec Saffiedine and Paul Daley and already beaten Jordan Mein in 2012. Considering his momentum, the 29-year-old has made it clear that he’s looking to pick up Strikeforce gold before this year’s end.
“Obviously (my goal is) to get the world title and defend the belt. Hold onto that baby for dear life and then after my fight, maybe 3 fights with Strikeforce and evaluate with my team what the best move for my career would be,” he says.
“I’m hoping to get at least three fights in, every year whether I have a title or not. You see guys like Jon Jones, and Dominick Cruz, they fight 3 or 4 times a year, and they’re the champions. For me, I’m not a champion yet, but to strive to be one, I have to fight a little more often.”