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UFC 205: Why Tyron Woodley Deserves Everyone’s Respect

Props where props is due

If you caught the UFC 205 event that took place, you’re probably talking about Conor McGregor. The featherweight AND now lightweight champion put on a masterful performance, systematically breaking down the tough wrestler in Eddie Alvarez for a second round K.O. However, fight of the night went to the co-main event as two warriors went toe to toe for 5 rounds. In the end it was a majority draw, with Tyron Woodley retaining his title, but he was suppose to be knocked out. His one punch clunky  style was suppose to be picked apart by Wonderboys movement and counter striking. But to no avail, we got ourselves a great fight and one of the best performances by Woodley we’ve ever seen.

I’m not going to lie, I picked Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson to win that fight, hands down. Though Woodley is a tough competitor I just couldn’t see him getting away from Stephen Thompson’s arsenal of striking as well as high fight IQ, and pinpoint accuracy. If you want to see what he did to the last power puncher he fought,  just check out the video of him fighting Johnny Hendricks below.

But it didn’t happen that way. Tyron Woodley essentially found a way to out counter a counter puncher. He stood against the cage and waited for Wonderboy to engage first essentially freezing the karate practitioner, taking him out of his comfort zone. When Woodley did rush, he made it count, seconds away from ending it in round 4. His fight before this? He ended the damn near impossible to finish Robbie Lawler 3.0 in round 1 – like lights out ended.

But despite his octagon heroics, what’s most impressive was Woodley’s personality change.  We saw a different side of Tyron Woodley closing in on the 205 event. He started to get a little angry, he stopped trying to be nice, and he started to be real. I noticed this when asked about his war of words with Conor McGregor. His previously cringe worthy tough talk now seemed legit, he wasn’t going to let anyone call him out and not respond. He finally stepped into the Alpha male role that his physique displayed but timid personality wouldn’t allow.

I’m not sure if he was reading self help books throughout his 18 month layoff, but this is a new and improved Tyron Woodley that cannot be denied. Like all growing pains, it took a little time for Woodley to find his groove, but besides the awkward “big money fight” call out, Woodley is starting to hit his stride. Let’s face it, you can win all the fights you want, but if the crowd isn’t behind you’re in for a lot of turmoil.

Oh, and as for who won the fight? While technically it was a draw, you’ve got to give it to the champion. A firm believer in “you’ve got to beat the champ to become the champion”, I don’t think Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson did enough to earn the strap. Either way, Tyron Woodley proved most of us wrong, so can we start embracing him as the true champion?

What do you guys think of the welterweight champ, does he deserve respect or is he still not on your radar?

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