When the UFC announced that Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley would be co-headlining UFC 174, it was widely assumed that the winner would be getting a title shot.
Then, fellow welterweight Matt Brown won an electrifying fight with Erick Silva and suddenly the powers-that-be in the UFC were announcing that the Ohio native would be stepping into the octagon with Robbie Lawler for a shot at being next in line.
"The first couple days when they announced it, it was (a distraction), because I believe verbally I was told one thing and Rory was told one thing," Woodley said from Vancouver. "I knew in the back of my mind a lot of other welterweights were probably told the same thing, I think there's a sense of generating some additional controversy because it's a crazy division right now."
While both fighters were understandably disappointed to be taken down a notch in the division's hierarchy, the UFC's announcement made the stakes clear for MacDonald, the welterweight division's No. 2 ranked fighter, and the No. 3 ranked Woodley.