Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” Tyron Woodley Takes Shortcut to UFC, Others Face Longer Odds
By Joshua Molina
The last time Tyron Woodley was inside a cage, he was experiencing his first taste of defeat – in the form of punches to the face and a wicked 4th round KO.
Nate Marquardt blasted the then-undefeated Woodley to win the vacant Strikeforce Welterweight Championship.
Apparently the crushing loss didn’t matter too much to the people at the UFC.
The company signed Woodley and he will face Jay Hieron at UFC 156, replacing injured Erick Silva.
While others are in do-or-die situations to perform well at Strikeforce’s final card Jan. 12, Woodley found the scenic route to the UFC.
Win or lose in his title defense against Tarec Saffiedine on Jan. 12, Marquardt is also likely headed to the UFC.
The future isn’t as clear for some other fighters on the Jan. 12 card.
Former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi will likely make it, win or lose against Mike Kyle.
Kyle, on the other hand, needs to win big to make UFC take a look.
Daniel Cormier, of course, is already in, as is probably Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
U.S Army sharpshooter Tim Kennedy will probably earn a contract in the UFC (hopefully he’ll remember how to finish a fight on the 12th).
One would think Saffiedine would get in if he upsets Marquardt. Sensational grappler Roger Gracie should get into the UFC. His standup is weak, but he’s deadly on the ground, and he has a name.
KJ Noons and Ryan Couture are probably in the most intriguing of positions.
Noons, who TKO’d Nick Diaz, is an underrated high level fighter. Couture, child of the great Randy Couture, is young, but shows great potential.
The UFC, however has a ton of lightweights. Noons and Couture may find themselves on the outside looking in, even with a victory.
The biggest names, Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold and Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez, will undoubtedly get in. Both fighters pulled out of their scheduled fights on the Jan. 12 show.