To put it concisely, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley rubs people the wrong way. Whether it’s for lack of personality, big money fight call outs, or playing the race card, for some reason or another he hasn’t exactly been a big smash hit with the fans. Until now…maybe?
One of the biggest critique of Tyron Woodley is that he’s been ducking fights. He recently fought the much touted Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson to a majority draw at UFC 205. While it didn’t settle much on the scorecard – it did show that he could bang with the karate phenom, almost finishing him in Rd 4 . Now it seems after failed negotiations for a super fight with middleweight champ Michael Bisping, the two will meet again at UFC 209.
In a recent episode on his podcast “The Morning Wood”, he revealed that him and Wonderboy would again be sharing the octagon on March 4th.
“March 4th, UFC 209 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at what I believe to be the T-Mobile Center, you will see ‘Wonderboy’ get the worst ass-whooping of his life,” Woodley said. “And hopefully all of his fans and all of his over-entitlement deceases at that moment and we can do a eulogy for it.”
“From this point forward, I’m going to commit to taking this dude out in the most embarrassing and worst fashion,” Woodley said. “And with that said, that last fight is in the dust. I ain’t going to cry over spilled milk. I ain’t going to cry over what round, who did what, where, when, where. That fight is in the dust. It’s done, it’s over with.
“This is a new fight, the most important fight of my life, not only to just continue to be the champion and to keep my belt — I can’t allow myself to lose to him and what he stands for and what his fans stand for, and this overly-entitled group of individuals who are in mixed martial arts. I can’t let myself lose to that. So with that said, let’s get to work and let’s get this party on the go.”
So the real question is – even if he beats Wonderboy in March, will people finally accept Tyron Woodley as their champ? Probably not. Let’s face it, the fans want to see him lose. That’s why they’re going to hail whoever he fights next as the person to dethrone him. Don’t get me wrong, Demian Maia and Donald Cerrone are absolute beasts and could very well do the job if Wonderboy can’t take care of business, but I think it’s the case that most fans just can’t connect with the welterweight champ.
To a certain degree he reminds me of Dominick Cruz. Before he was a fan favorite, he was a guy that wasn’t very much liked. “The California Kid” Urijah Faber was definitely the more popular of the two with his surfer vibe and coloquios attitude. Cruz was a bit more serious, more introverted, more in his head. His turning point really happened after his injury, he became one of the best analyst in the game, and started to inspire people with his never say die attitude. His under 2 minute K.O. of Takeya Mizugaki didn’t hurt either.
In my assessment, Woodley will have to keep that belt for a long time for people to really come round to him. At the end of the day you can’t deny someone who keeps on winning (insert Floyd Mayweather exception here).
What do you guys think of the welterweight champ, and how do you think he can turn things around?
Lionel Harris-Spence is a writer, filmmaker, and functioning alcoholic. You can catch him screaming obscenities at flat screens on fight night.