Carlos Condit to Face Tyron Woodley at UFC 171, After Nick Diaz Balks

Chad DundasMMA Lead WriterDecember 17, 2013

USA Today

The UFC didn’t get its first wish on a next opponent for Carlos Condit. Now, Tyron Woodley will get his.

After UFC president Dana White initially balked at the idea of Condit vs. Woodley—joking that Woodley was bombarding him with text messages on the subject—the fight company confirmed on Tuesday that the two welterweight contenders will indeed meet at UFC 171 in March.

“If Tyrone Woodley texts me one more time…” White joked on Saturday during the post-fight media scrum for UFC on Fox 9. “The guy can’t text me enough. I mean, I’m not kidding you, I’m not being a promoter here. He must’ve texted me 15 times a day, and then when this thing with Georges St-Pierre went down—boom—he wants every fight.”

After St-Pierre vacated his title and announced an indefinite leave from the UFC last Friday, White had designs on matching Condit in a second fight against Nick Diaz. Unfortunately, Diaz—who retired after a loss to St-Pierre in March—turned down the fight.

Nov 15, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Tyron Woodley participates in the official weigh-in of UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

The organization rolled Diaz’s reluctance into Woodley’s gain, as the former Strikeforce contender will now meet previous interim UFC champ Condit in Dallas on March 15. That card will also feature the bout between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler to crown a new welterweight champion.

The winner of Condit vs. Woodley will likely be on a very short list of contenders up for the first crack at the new champion.

Condit (29-7) defeated Diaz to capture the interim title at UFC 143 last year. Most recently, he was booked to meet Matt Brown last weekend at UFC on Fox 9, until Brown dropped out with a back injury the week of the event.

After a three-year run in Strikeforce, Woodley (12-2) made his Octagon debut with a first-round knockout of Jay Hieron at UFC 156 in February. He lost his next fight to Jake Shields via controversial split decision but rekindled his momentum with a KO of Josh Koscheck at UFC 167.

Now that he’s lined up in a high-stakes fight against Condit, score one for Woodley’s persistence.