Tyron Woodley Names The ‘Toughest Opponent’ He’s Fought

Tyron WoodleyFormer UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, has faced a who’s who of the 170lb elite. He has fought the likes of Karmaru Usman, Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns. However, it is not one of these fighters, nor any of the current ranked UFC welterweights that proved to be Wooodley’s toughest opposition. In a recent interview […]

Tyron Woodley

Former UFC welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley, has faced a who’s who of the 170lb elite. He has fought the likes of Karmaru Usman, Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns. However, it is not one of these fighters, nor any of the current ranked UFC welterweights that proved to be Wooodley’s toughest opposition.

In a recent interview with Helen Yee Sports, Woodley discussed who his toughest opponent was, with the answer being a rather surprising one. ‘The Chosen One’ had the following to say:

The toughest opponent I’ve ever fought was a dude named Nathan Coy. He was actually a teammate of mine at American Top Team. The other guys I fought, I just did not perform, or I backed up too much. Or Marquardt, I was relaxed for one second too long on the cage and he threw me the elbow buffet” (transcribed by Essentially Sports)

“But Nathan Coy, I was there. And I was a 100% and I was going hard and he was going hard. And I threw up so bad after this fight. I was like oh my god it was so hard…. And it was such a close fight, and I barely won it, but I was fighting as hard as I could and he was fighting as hard as he could. And he’s the only one that I’ve ever fought at the level that matched me. Anyone else I fought at 50% or more, I knocked out or beat or snapped them. When people are beating me, I am not remotely where I am supposed to be at.”

Nathan Coy, who went by the nickname ‘Soulforce,’ fought Woodley in 2010. Woodley was able to win via a split decision. Since then, Coy went on to fight in both Bellator and the UFC. He has not fought since 2017 and holds a record of 15-7. Alternatively, Woodley is currently on the worst run of form that he has ever experienced. Back to back losses against Usman, Covington and Burns have seen his stock drop rapidly. However, he currently has a fight booked against Vincente Luque, where he will attempt to get his career back on track.

What are your thoughts on the intriguing statement by Tyron Woodley? Let us know in the comments.

Tyron Woodley Picks Gilbert Burns To Beat Kamaru Usman

Tyron WoodleyFormer UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley made one of his first media appearances today in months on “The Mystic Hour.” With UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns right around the corner, Woodley, having gone 50 minutes with the two gave his thoughts on the match-up among his return. Woodley, in his recent welterweight stint, has undergone […]

Tyron Woodley

Former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley made one of his first media appearances today in months on “The Mystic Hour.” With UFC 258: Usman vs. Burns right around the corner, Woodley, having gone 50 minutes with the two gave his thoughts on the match-up among his return.

Woodley, in his recent welterweight stint, has undergone a string of losses dating back to March 2019 where he lost his belt to Kamaru Usman. More than a year later, he would lose to rising prospect Gilbert Burns and then to outspoken rival, Colby Covington.

4 months later, Woodley reflects on his “learning streak” to the best in the world.

“I trained so hard, I was ready.” Woodley told MMA Island. “In my mind, my toughest and most difficult opponents were guys who I had already fought… and to lose to the last 3 guys I took those lessons to. You only lose if you don’t learn and grow from it. I feel like I’ve learned, grown from my last couple of fights.”

“The Chosen One’s” last couple of fights (excluding Covington) had him going 10 rounds back-to-back with this weekend’s Pay-Per-View headliner at UFC 258. It’s safe to say nobody has quite the insight that Woodley has on the Usman vs Burns fight.

“You know what’s funny?” Woodley chuckled. “I think if Usman loses, he will get a rematch.”

“[The UFC is] trying their hardest to push him. No disrespect to Usman, he’s a good guy. You can spend so much money trying to force a star on us and it ain’t happening. Right now I feel like it’s being forced.”

“That’s when Ronda [Rousey] lost, that’s when Paige [VanZant] lost, that’s when Sage [Northcutt] lost. That’s when Nate Diaz beat Conor McGregor. That feeling feels very familiar to me.”

Deja Vu flooded Woodley’s mind of past upsets and he predicts the duel of former teammates will end with Gilbert Burns on top.

“Gilbert is tough. He’s a better Grappler. He’s a harder puncher. I don’t think Usman was winning the ground wars against Gilbert in the practice room. When you got a guy who knows that, he can strike a little bit more efficiently because even if you take him down you know he got a leg lock game. If you take him down, you take his back, armbar, rear-naked choke, he’s very high level. Usman has to think about that at all times. I think Gilbert is going to come after him hard. He got this chance to be a champion. I think it’s a good fight.

Although Woodley’s verdict is that Burns will wear the crown of undisputed champion, he has praise for the man who took that title away from him.

“Usman is very consistent, especially with making changes. He’ll go for a strike in and you know in the Colby [Covington] he didn’t have to go away from the straight punches. He had to go for a shot. In other fights like against Leon Edwards, he had to go for a shot to actually settle up to be successful in striking which took him back to the shot. Before you knew it, the time expired and Leon ran out of time trying to win the fight. If I had to say Usman was great in anything, he’s great at that.”

Do you agree with Tyron Woodley? Will Gilbert Burns beat Kamaru Usman at UFC 258?

Tyron Woodley To Corner Ben Askren Against Jake Paul

Tyron Woodley will corner Ben Askren in his boxing match against Jake Paul. On April 17, Askren is set to come out of retirement to box a YouTuber in Paul. It’s a fight many fans are looking forward to given Askren is not known for a boxer, and P…

Tyron Woodley will corner Ben Askren in his boxing match against Jake Paul. On April 17, Askren is set to come out of retirement to box a YouTuber in Paul. It’s a fight many fans are looking forward to given Askren is not known for a boxer, and Paul has looked impressive in his boxing […]

5 Times Former Teammates Faced Off Prior To UFC 258

rankingsAt the top level of MMA, many of the best and most popular athletes find themselves training out of large gyms with access to some of the best coaches available. Given the drive to be the best and the necessity to train with partners of the same size and skill level it is not uncommon […]

rankings

At the top level of MMA, many of the best and most popular athletes find themselves training out of large gyms with access to some of the best coaches available.

Given the drive to be the best and the necessity to train with partners of the same size and skill level it is not uncommon for training partners to eventually find themselves standing across the octagon from one another at some stage of their careers.

This has been one of the major storylines heading into UFC 258 where the Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will take on former training partner and friend Gilbert Burns to defend his title.

These two top-ranking Welterweights were training partners as recently as 2019, however, with Burns putting together a string of high-profile wins in 2020 and Usman continuing to defend his title, a clash between the two was bound to occur.

In this situation, the champion opted to take leave from his regular home of Sanford MMA and seek training under the guidance of the highly respected coach Trevor Whittman.

While the two of these fighters have remained mostly respectful of one another, and a shift in camp has made the process simpler, this has not always been the case for other fighters.

Here are five times that training partners have met inside the UFC octagon.

Jones vs Evans

Jon Jones faces off against teammate Rashad Evans before UFC 145.
Image via UFC.com

In 2011 Jackson Wink MMA was home to two of the top Light-heavyweights in the world in the form of Rashad Evans and Jon Jones. With both these athletes piecing together multiple winning streaks against other well-known opposition title implications were in the works for both fighters, and first, it seemed as though Evans would take a shot at regaining the title he once held. These plans were cut short, however, as injury would strike leaving Evans sidelined and making way for Jones to take a shot at the title against the champion Shogun Rua.

Jones went on to claim the title with a stunning third-round TKO over the champion after dominating the action for the duration of the fight. After claiming the title Jones was adamant at first that he would not fight with his teammate Evans, however, as time went on and after defending his title Jones became open to the idea much to the disappointment of Evans.

Evans chose to leave his longtime home at Jackson Wink MMA vowing never to train with coach Greg Jackson again claiming that he had bought on the situation by allowing Jones to come onboard to their team against his wishes. After leaving, Evans would continue to help found the Blackzilians, a team in Florida that would produce some of the top talents in the organization.

The two faced off in the main event of UFC 145 and Jones was able to dominate Evans receiving a unanimous decision victory to defend his title.

Lawler vs Woodley

Robbie Lawler touches gloves with former teammate Tyron Woodley at UFC 201.
Image via UFC.com

American Top Team in Florida has been at the pinnacle of MMA for the longest time producing many champions and top tier fighters for the UFC. In 2016 the gym was home to the Welterweight champion Robbie Lawler who had just defended his title twice in bouts against Rory McDonald and Carlos Condit. After taking out this opposition a new challenger emerged, this time in the form of his training partner Tyron Woodley.

At this point in his career, Woodley had bounced back from a loss to McDonald with back-to-back wins over Dong Hyun Kim and Kelvin Gastelum to cement himself as the number one contender.

Given the situation with the pair being at the same gym and choosing to remain at the same gym, the coaching staff were split in half and both fighters continued to train under the American Top Team banner for their fight.

When it came to fight night, Woodley was able to claim the welterweight title with a stunning knockout victory over his former training partner in the first round.

Following this loss, Lawler would make the move away from American Top Team to train at Hard Knocks 365 under Henri Hoof, the gym that would eventually become Sanford MMA.

Woodley vs Covington

Colby Covington faces off with former teammate Tyron Woodley ahead of their fight night main event.
Screengrab via UFC (YouTube)

Another pair of teammates from American Top Team, Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington would not only produce one of the best examples of former teammates facing off, but the two would also produce one of the most heated rivalries in the sport. Once Woodley claimed the title by defeating Robbie Lawler, Covington was still an up and comer working his way towards title implications. This did not take long, however, as by the end of 2017 Covington had his sites set on Woodley and an interim title fight in the wings.

In 2018 Covington would go on to claim the interim title by defeating Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 225, however, after the UFC was unable to schedule a bout between the two former training partners, Covington would be stripped of his title without having the chance to challenge Woodley.

In the meantime, while the rivalry heated up Woodley would have mixed results boasting multiple successful title defenses against the likes of Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia, and Darren Till, before being bested by Kamaru Usman.

Covington, however, would return to face Lawler and dominate him setting himself up for that long-awaited title shot against the now champion Kamaru Usman.

While it may have been much later than most expected, following losses for both fighters, Covington to Usman in his title shot, and Woodley to up and coming title contender Gilbert Burns, Woodley and Covington would finally meet in the octagon.

In this fight, Covington did what many had expected and dominated the former champion managing to get a TKO in the fifth round after Woodley suffered a rib injury.

Garbrandt vs Dillashaw

TJ Dillashaw knocks down former teammate Cody Garbrandt.
August 4, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Cody Garbrandt falls after being hit by TJ Dillashaw during UFC 227 at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Team Alpha Male has produced some of the best Bantamweight fighters that the UFC has ever seen and been home to multiple champions including both TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt.

After losing his title to Dominick Cruz in 2016, TJ Dillashaw had opened an opportunity for his former training partner Cody Garbrandt who at the time was undefeated and a top contender in the division to challenge Cruz for the title. In this matchup, Garbrandt showed incredible striking skill and managed to defeat Cruz by unanimous decision to claim the title.

Following this TJ put together back-to-back victories within 2016 to set himself up for a title shot once again and now it would be to face his former teammate in a heated grudge match that had been in the works since Dillashaw’s departure from the gym.

After six years at Team Alpha Male, Dillawshaw would make the move to Colorado to train with former Alpha Male coach Duane Ludwig as well as training at Team Elevation. This move wasn’t taken lightly by Garbrandt or gym owner Uriah Faber who predicted that with this move a matchup between top prospects would be on the horizon.

The fight did come to fruition in 2017 when the pair faced off as the co-main event of UFC 217. This was a short fight, however, it was action-packed so despite being finished in the second round, the UFC chose to give Garbrandt a rematch to try and claim back the title he had just lost to Dillashaw.

In the rematch, however, the result was the same but the duration was shorter with Dillashaw finding the knockout shot in the first round to defend his title and close out the rivalry between the two former teammates.

Ortiz vs Liddell

Chuck Liddell faces off with Tito Ortiz ahead of their trilogy fight.
Sep 14, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fight promoter Oscar De La Hoya (center) gets in between Chuck Liddell (left) and Tito Ortiz while promoting their upcoming MMA bout at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the most iconic rivalry in the sport, before Title Ortiz and Chuck Liddell met inside the octagon the pair were avid training partners. Being one of the earliest Light-heavyweight champions in the UFC Tito Ortiz was known for his impressive grappling ability that had allowed him to reach the pinnacle of the sport at the time. Ortiz was however training his striking to be on par with the rest of his skills and part of that training was done with up and coming UFC fighter Chuck Liddell.

These two athletes would corner each other in the ring, train together, and ultimately wind up in a fierce rivalry with the UFC title on the line.

After Ortiz had lost the belt to Randy Couture, Liddell had the perfect opportunity to fight for the title and in doing so he claimed the gold and set in motion a grudge match between himself and his former training partner.

In this meeting Liddell emerged victorious winning via KO in the second round, however, the rivalry didn’t end there and the two wound up fighting once again two years later in 2006.

The second matchup went similar to the first with Liddell winning by TKO in round three. While it looked like the rivalry was over this was far from the truth and 12 years later the pair would face off for the third and final time.

In 2018 Golden Boy MMA held the event Liddell vs. Ortiz: War’s End which would see the two veterans fight one another years after their prime. This would be the only time Ortiz would taste victory against Liddell winning by KO in the first round.

This trilogy match would be Liddell’s final MMA fight and Ortiz’s second last, however, Ortiz has not officially hung up the gloves as of yet.

Tyron Woodley To Corner Ben Askren In Jake Paul Fight

Tyron WoodleyFormer UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has revealed he will be in Ben Askren’s corner when the former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder makes his professional boxing debut against Jake Paul on April 17. Woodley and Askren have a well-documented friendship. So, of course, ‘The Chosen One’ is predicting ‘Funky’ will get it done against […]

Tyron Woodley

Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley has revealed he will be in Ben Askren’s corner when the former Bellator and ONE Championship titleholder makes his professional boxing debut against Jake Paul on April 17.

Woodley and Askren have a well-documented friendship. So, of course, ‘The Chosen One’ is predicting ‘Funky’ will get it done against the YouTube star in a couple of months’ time.

“Ben has very dumpy power, that’s the best way I can explain it,” Woodley told The Schmo. “When he punches, it’s not like the super-fast [Floyd] Mayweather type stuff, but when he hits you it’s like damn that kinda f*ckin’ hurt a little bit. So in my mind, I think that he clings to guys well, we haven’t really seen him take a lot of punches. Robbie [Lawler] hit him a couple times. Obviously, he got flying kneed, but we haven’t seen him sit there and just take f*cking shots from people throwing hands at him.

“So I think he’s going to be able to get close to Jake, kinda talk a little shit to him because Ben’s been doing that since college, and then really just wear him down and wear him out,” Woodley added. “Then I think those later rounds, Ben’s been on this stage, the Bellator stage, the ONE FC stage, the UFC stage, the Olympic stage, the NCAA stage, the crowd and the lights, and everything that goes with the pazazz of putting on a show — he’s not going to be moved by. Jake, this is new to him. YouTube is one thing but when you’re in front of people and people are watching you… He showed up against those guys he fought but I think Ben’s a world-class athlete whether he looks like he can jump 40-feet off the ground or not, he’s world-class in three different sports.”

Woodley has his own big fight coming up. The welterweight great is set to take on Vicente Luque at UFC 260 on March 27. He is looking to bounce back from losing three straight fights in the UFC.

Despite being a busy man himself, Woodley insists he will help Askren in any way he can and also confirmed he will be part of Askren’s corner team come fight night.

“I’m gonna help him out, I’m gonna corner him,” Woodley said. “I’ll try to see how I can merge it in with my training camp but Ben just told me come after my fight, that’s only a week. If you can come earlier, come earlier. That’s how Ben is. Yeah, I’ll be there.” (Transcribed by BJPENN.com)

Do you think Tyron Woodley can help Ben Askren beat Jake Paul?

Tyron Woodley Opens As Huge Betting Underdog Against Vicente Luque

WoodleyTyron Woodley has opened as a big underdog against Vicente Luque. It was recently reported that a fight between the former welterweight champion and Luque was in the works for the UFC 260 pay-per-view event taking place March 27. And oddsmakers don’t seem to have much confidence in Woodley. As per BestFightOdds, Woodley has opened […]

Woodley

Tyron Woodley has opened as a big underdog against Vicente Luque.

It was recently reported that a fight between the former welterweight champion and Luque was in the works for the UFC 260 pay-per-view event taking place March 27.

And oddsmakers don’t seem to have much confidence in Woodley.

As per BestFightOdds, Woodley has opened as a +205 underdog while Luque is a -240 favorite.

That means you would earn $205 if you bet $100 on a Woodley victory while you would need to stake $240 on a Luque win to make a $100 profit.

All in all, these odds aren’t surprising.

Luque is on a two-fight winning streak following victories over Niko Price and Randy Brown and has won eight of his last nine outings.

Woodley, meanwhile, is on a three-fight losing streak following lopsided defeats to Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington and Gilbert Burns. Additionally, he has lost his last 15 rounds of competitive action.

For context, Woodley also opened as a +210 underdog against Colby Covington. However, it is still surprising to see him open as a similar underdog against Luque who while still a top welterweight, is not a top-five ranked one for now and is also purely a striker.

Regardless, what do you think of these odds? Are you willing to take a punt on Woodley getting back to the win column?