Tyron Woodley Will Never Apologize for Fighting to Win Rather Than Fighting to Entertain

September 7, 2018

In eight wins in the UFC, Tyron Woodley has earned five knockouts or TKO’s but that’s rarely the narrative surrounding the reigning welterweight champion.

Instead, Woodley is often criticized for his two most recent performance that inarguably weren’t the most exciting fights but still ended with the UFC title being wrapped back around his waist.

Because those wins over Demian Maia and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson didn’t earn him favor with fans, Woodley has suddenly been painted as a boring fighter leading into his next title defense against Darren Till at UFC 228.

As much as that might goad some fighters into throwing caution to the win to win back the crowd, Woodley prefers to win, retain his championship and go home with his full paycheck at the end of the night.

“I’m not going to force an opportunity because the crowd wants to see me go when they want me to go,” Woodley explained when speaking to the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “They don’t see what I’m seeing. They don’t see openings and windows of opportunity. They just want to see non-stop catastrophe at all costs and they’re looking for the wrong fighter if they want that.

“Look for a ‘B’ level fighter that doesn’t have a belt that’s just putting on good fights for the fans and then you’ll get that every time.”

The desire to see knock down, drag out fights isn’t exactly new amongst mixed martial arts viewers but Woodley knows that kind of performance has definitely been popularized more and more in recent years.

He’s definitely not against putting on the kind of show that fans would cheer but he also refuses to just bite down on his mouthpiece to start swinging just to appease the audience because the risk versus reward in that situation is simply too high.

“Sometimes fans just want to see you punch me, that sucked, I punched you, that sucked, I’m bleeding, you’re bleeding, I cut you, you look like you’re about to go see Jesus, ooh you woke up, now I’m about to go see Jesus. That’s what fans want to see now,” Woodley stated.

“I’m not always patient. Sometimes guys show me a little bit and I feel an ambition for blood and I want it and I go and I knock them out and I get it done.”

Before he was matched up with Till on Saturday night, Woodley had already examined how a potential fight between them would go but his opinion changed after watching the Liverpool native’s last fight against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Till was the aggressor over all five rounds, constantly taking the center of the cage and pressing forward but rarely unleashing much offense outside of a combination in the final five minutes that earned him a knockdown.

It showed Woodley a different facet to Till’s arsenal and it gave him a new idea about how this fight might play out at UFC 228.

“The thing I saw about him is, I thought he was going to wrestle “Wonderboy”. I thought he was going to blitz him. I thought he was going to be all over him and he was patient. He was a little bit more cerebral than we give him credit for,” Woodley said about Till.

“By him fighting “Wonderboy” that way, it really showed me that he’s a little bit more intelligent, his IQ in the Octagon is a little bit higher than we give him credit for. That makes me think about the fight a little bit differently.”

Of course, Woodley knows that Till may think he’s got the perfect strategy to take away his welterweight championship but he promises that he’s got plenty of new tricks up his sleeve.

He looks forward to showcasing that when they square off inside the Octagon.

“I let people think that I’ve just got the one right hand and if I don’t get that, I can’t win a fight,” Woodley said. “I like that because it puts me in a position when they see different, they’re not ready for it. I let them believe those things because when you get in the Octagon with me, it’s a lot different.

“Everybody that’s fought me that’s got the Rubick’s Cube figured out can all tell you right now, it was different when I was in there.”