(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAHeat)
According to a report by MMAPrime.tv, Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos has pulled out of his upcoming bout with Paul Daley due to a shoulder injury, leaving Strikeforce scurrying to find a suitable replacement for the durable Brazilian for the July 30 Fedor vs. Henderson card in Chicago.
If we were the SF matchmaker (no offense, Sean Shelby), we’d already have a new opponent for “Semtex” before we hung up the phone with Cyborg’s camp when we got the call that he was pulling out of the bout.
“Tyron, get training. You got your shot. Daley July 30,” the text would read, to which a “smiley-face” reply would be sent back a few moments later.
Zuffa has yet to confirm the rumor that the Daley-Cyborg bout was for the welterweight title vacated by Nick Diaz‘s unceremonious departure to the UFC, but since a Woodley-Daley fight was on the table before Cyborg was shuffled in from a planned bout with Tarec Saffiedene, why not give the undefeated American Top Team prospect his due. Strikeforce has been promising Woodley a shot for a while. Now is the time to deliver.
In the interview above that Woodley did with MMAHeat’s Karen Bryant, the 29-year-old Ferguson, Missouri, United States called out Daley, insinuating that the brash Brit striker ducked him by fighting at BAMMA 5 in February instead of taking a fight with him.
“I think realistically I worked my way up from the undercard through the Challengers [Series]. You guys have gotten to see me go through wars. You got to see me knock people out. So I think, realistically, I should be the next in line. Next time the championship bout is offered, I think I should be the one in the cage. I really and truly think that Daley dodged a bullet when he went to fight in BAMMA in London. He didn’t really want to fight me because he really do well with wrestlers,” he explained. “I think that should have been the tier bout before [the Diaz] bout, but I think things happen for a reason. When my time comes, it’s my time.”
Scott Coker agreed that Woodley deserved his shot.
“I think he’s ready to go, not just because he’s here and he’s got the shirt on. The thing about Tyron is, I’m always impressed with the fighters that improve the disciplines that are not their core disciplines,” Coker pointed out. “We all know he came from wrestling, but look at his striking. It’s getting better. Look at his jiu-jitsu. It’s getting better. So that’s the thing I’m most impressed with…We’re going to give him an opportunity in the next couple months and then it’s going to be up to T-Wood at that point.”
That interview took place on April 9 and according to Woodley, who was named 2010 Rising Star of the Year by Strikeforce, he hasn’t heard where or whe he’ll be fighting next.
(Video courtesy of YouTube/JamesBlair7)
Make the call, Scott.