It’s hard to believe that just about three years ago, Tyron Woodley was on top of the UFC world. Woodley was the welterweight champion and held an impressive 19-3-1 record. He was coming off of his most impressive win as champion with a second round stoppage over Darren Till.
Woodley had a show on TMZ and he was also starting his music career. He seemed to have everything he ever wanted. Things all started to unravel for Woodley when he took on Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 in March of 2019. Usman completely destroyed Woodley on his way to taking the welterweight title.
After that loss, Woodley took a year away from the octagon and returned in March of 2020. Woodley took on Gilbert Burns in a UFC Fight Night headliner. The result was the same as his previous fight as Burns completely dominated the former champion and won every round.
Then, Woodley had a grudge match with rival Colby Covington. Again, Woodley was completely dominated and lost by fifth round stoppage. The former UFC champion had essentially lost fifteen straight rounds in the octagon and he was down to the final fight on his contract.
Unlike his previous fights, he came out looking to be aggressive when he fought Vicente Luque at UFC 260. However, he would go on to get stopped in the first round by Luque. That’s when the former champion turned to boxing.
UFC champion’s decision to box
Woodley’s close friend and teammate Ben Askren was tasked with boxing Jake Paul earlier this year. The former UFC champion was in the corner of Askren and had some run-ins with Jake Paul and his crew. As we all know, Paul would go on to knock Askren out in the first round.
Free from his UFC contract, Woodley started calling for a boxing match with Paul. They met in late August and Paul was able to defeat Woodley by split decision. However, Woodley had some big moments in the fight including hurting Jake Paul a couple of times.
Many, including myself, thought he could’ve won had he been more aggressive. Paul turned his attention to Tommy Fury and the former UFC champion kept asking for his rematch. After Fury dropped out of the Paul fight with an injury, Woodley got the rematch he wanted.
However, it didn’t go as planned. The fight was incredibly uneventful until the sixth round. Paul uncorked a massive right hook that put Woodley out cold. Woodley has now lost six straight combat sports fights and he’s been put to sleep by a kid who started out on Disney Channel.
It’s tough to think about Woodley’s legacy. On one hand, you cannot take away what he accomplished in the UFC. However, this particular stretch of losses is really tough to swallow. Losing twice to Jake Paul especially with once getting put to sleep is really rough. Woodley isn’t Anderson Silva who has actually gone on to have success in boxing.
I think he’s still a UFC hall of famer based on resume, but make no mistake about it, Woodley doesn’t have the same respect he used to.