Tyron Woodley Didn’t Hesitate to Take Dong Hyun Kim Fight, Still Believes He’ll Be a UFC Champ

June 25, 2014
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Tyron WoodleyTyron Woodley is not short of confidence. He might be coming off a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Rory McDonald, but the 32-year-old still believe he is the best and he won’t have to wait long for another opportunity to prove it.

Woodley recently got the call to replace the injured Hector Lombard and face Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le on Aug. 23. He said he had no hesitation about accepting the unexpected assignment.

“I had no issue with taking the fight because I came out of my last fight with nothing except for a couple tiny nicks here and there,” he said.

When the fight, which takes place at the Cotai Arena in Macau, was announced by Dana White at a Hong Kong press conference this week, Woodley was already in the region on a training trip to Evolve MMA in Singapore.

However, he says he booked the trip to Singapore well before the call came to replace Lombard.

“It was coincidence. I came out here to train at Evolve MMA because Heath Sims is a friend of mine and he invited me over here to Singapore.”

It is a happy coincidence because Woodley now has a base in the region and he says he will be dividing his time between Singapore and the U.S. as he prepares to face the tough Korean.

“I’ll be doing half of my camp here for my fight against Kim because this place is legit.  There are world champions in every aspect of MMA and I am getting some amazing knowledge and training here. The fighters on the Evolve Fight Team are world-class with huge potential.”

One of Evolve MMA’s fighters is already very well known to Woodley because he captained the wrestling team at the University of Missouri for three years and during that period Ben Askren burst onto the scene, finishing NCAA Division One runner up two years running.

Askren would go on to win the NCAA Division One Championship on two consecutive occasions after Woodley graduated. The Strikeforce veteran admits to being grateful that his former teammate didn’t end up becoming a potential UFC opponent.

“Me and Ben are close, so I wouldn’t have wanted to fight him. He’s definitely one of the best in the world and there is no question that he would take out most of the top 10 in the UFC.”

The two former teammates will be reunited in August when Woodley returns to Evolve MMA for the final part of his training camp after a few weeks back at his normal base of American Top Team.

“I’ll be back in August and Ben Askren will be here in Singapore at that time too, he’s going to be a great training partner.”

Kim has been a fixture in the UFC for six years, fighting 13 times, but he has never faced a wrestler of Woodley’s calibre. The Korean is coming off of a win against John Hathaway, who hadn’t fought for 18 months prior to that bout, but “The Chosen One” has nothing but respect for an opponent who is a stalwart of the 170-pound division.

“He is a tough opponent with good wins, but I’m always ready for anything.”

In the fight with McDonald, he was unable to score with his trademark takedowns and came off second best in the stand-up exchanges. There are a lot of well known Thai trainers at Evolve MMA and Woodley says he has been picking up some striking tips.

“The knowledge and experience here is unreal. I’m learning so much new stuff here and I have never met so many damn world champions in my life. It’s world-class.”

The loss to McDonald put paid to Woodley’s hopes of an immediate title shot, but it did not damage his belief that he will one day wear a title belt.

“The defeat was a learning lesson. (But) there is no question I have what it takes to be UFC champion. It is about me not defeating myself.”

A win over Kim would catapult him immediately back into title contention and if Woodley can perform to his full potential, which he clearly feels wasn’t the case against McDonald, he will be confident of overcoming the Korean and getting back on title track.

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  • jimmychong

    Woodley, much like the rest of these pricks coming out of the South/Midwest who, subconsciously/consciously have little respect for Asians, will catch a rude awakening. Kim via smother technique or wild strike. Woodley will whine and make excuses afterwards, guaranteed.

    • fsunoles10

      is there a reason to respect asians who are not on your skill level more so than other nationalities, race, etc? cool generalization also jack ass, have fun watching your boy get smashed.

      • jimmychong

        umm, yes. Asians, historically in general, lack physical attributes that ur boys like woodley possess, so with their respective career records being equal(which it isn’t), i’d say Kim is a far more skilled fighter than Woodley, or more accurately, has a bigger heart. I prefer woodley over kim all day as a spectator, i was just generalizing midwest/southern folks more so than anything. Watch woodley come out overconfident, get taken down, and Kim wipes his dong all over him for 3 rounds for a boring decision.

        • Wolf Ticket

          WTF does it have to do with physical attributes in general We have weight classes in MMA, you know? Woodley has probably more muscles than any other WW (except maybe Lombard), but it comes at a price of much worse cardio.

          That being sad, I like DHK, looking forward for this fight.

          • jimmychong

            so u think Jose Aldo being the same weight as BJ Penn, have zero natural, physical advantage when it comes to fighting? Lyoto and Jon Jones are on even playing field cuz they’re in the same weight class? Please…

          • jimmychong

            BTW, i don’t really like DHK, he seems to catch fools underestimating his standup or he takes them down and dry hump them to a win.

        • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

          So you admit WOodley has the better physical gifts but you still think its rascism

          • jimmychong

            ur just dumb.

    • James Williams

      Why do you think he has little respect for asians? Woodley said “he is a tough opponent with good wins”. I don’t see any disrespect.

      If you are referring to the African American dislike of Asian Americans, then you have a point. There is mutual dislike. However, I don’t see Tyrone Woodley as the mouthpiece of that viewpoint.

      • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

        He has no grounds to say that , thats the cool thing about calling rascism today you can make up some thought police assertion and its not up to you to prove, its up to the victim to DISprove. See how that works?

        • jimmychong

          go take an english class Shart…there’s a difference between generalization and racism doofus. Again, people from the midwest/south in general, still refer to all asians as Chinese and orientals.

          • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

            so what if they do

          • jimmychong

            dummy, so if they do as i stated, than that means they lack respect. it’s like me referring to all hispanics as mexicans. ur dumb, u seemingly agree with me, than ask so what if they do….LOL, u must be from the midwest/south.

          • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

            so what if they do lack respect

          • jimmychong

            u humor me shart. that’s y i’m saying hes going to get beat by Kim, cuz he may not respect Kim’s overall skill set. ur username fits ur baseless opinions, which are hilariously invalid cuz ur too dumb to get the point. u started this and ur too dumb or prideful to say yea, i’m over my head trying to argue a point i have no understanding of.

          • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

            i understand , you have a bad case of small mans syndrome so you take it out on the internet saying “you dont respect asians!”

    • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

      Al Sharpton of MMA?

  • Timothy Malone

    Is there any fight team more overrated than Evolve MMA? Alot of fighters visit there talking about how many champions they have, but how many great MMA fighters have come out of Evolve? Dos Anjos and thats it. Askren is a member but only joined recently after he had already been champion so they can’t claim credit for that; otherwise they just have Aoki who protects himself by fighting B and C-list guys, getting destroyed by Alvarez last time he tried to actually fight someone relevant.

  • fsunoles10

    time to wipe that dong up bruh.

  • David Huenecke

    Asians generally have more fighting spirit considering that’s what their culture is based around. Regardless of skill vs skill Asians will fight harder regardless of size. They’re usually smaller fighters but somehow pack a helluva wallop when it comes down to it.

    • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

      no they dont

      • David Huenecke

        Opinions are weird like that huh?

    • Muaythai4life

      racist 😉

      • David Huenecke

        Explain how that’s in anyway racist. It was stating a fact about their culture. I like the asian fighters because they bring it.

        • Muaythai4life

          well, first of all, did you not notice the winking smiley face?
          Secondly, Asia is a huge continent that encompasses Russians, the Orient, Indians, and most of the Middle East. So to say that Asian culture is based around fighting would not be accurate, as at least some of the countries in Asian – India, Sri Lanka, and Bangledesh follow a relatively passive form of Bhudism.
          Now you MAY have meant to say that Asians meant Japan, Thialand, China, and those regions.. in which case you categorized a large group of people as “having more fighting spirit” and “regardless of skill vs skill Asians will fight harder regardless of size” – I’m not sure what that sentence even means, but I assume you mean that Asians fight harder than non-asians of the same size and skill level. It may be a complement but it’s still a race bast statement making it racist.
          Finally you state that Asians are “usually smaller fighters” which is also not accurate, at least not in MMA. the lighter weight classes are filled with Brazilian and American fighters. There are far less Asians in Bantamweight, Flyweight, Featherweight, than there are in welterweight and middleweight.

  • George Sperry

    Woodley needs to lose some of that muscle mass and gain the ability to last 15 mins.
    The muscles look great but they require too much precious oxygen in a fight.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Easy fight for Woodley

  • Woodley can beat anyone of those guys he need more active and move forward and kick more and use more push kick and use the job more and set up his kick and take downs period he can do anything in the WH Div