By: Hans Themistode
Tyron Woodley enjoyed a wildly successful career in Mixed Martial Arts. For just over a decade, the St. Louis, Missouri, native fought the best of the best in the steel cage, and more times than not, his hand was raised in victory. But while his time in the octagon will likely lead to a Hall of Fame destination, his professional boxing career hasn’t lived up to his expectations.
For the second time in roughly four months, Woodley has come up short against social media star turned pro boxer, Jake Paul. After a split decision loss in late August, Woodley attempted to redeem himself this past weekend at the Amalie Arena, in Tampa, Florida.
Early on, Woodley fought Paul on even terms. But, in the blink of an eye, the former YouTuber turned in a Knockout of the Year candidate, violently stopping Woodley in his tracks in the sixth round.
Despite being winless in the squared circle and four months away from his 40th birthday, Woodley doesn’t see a retirement light at the end of his tunnel. In fact, for those who have pitied the former UFC star for precipitous fall from grace, Woodley isn’t interested in the sad faces and tear-filled pats on the back.
“I’m not done,” said Woodley following his knockout defeat. “Please do not look at me with sorrow eyes. Please don’t look at me and shake your head. I done f*cked a lot of people up. A lot of people had to have that talk in the locker room. A lot of coaches had to go back to the drawing board. It broke their heart when I took that from them.”
Although the goal for Woodley was to even the score with Paul and force a trilogy between them, his knockout defeat has changed his future plans…somewhat.
After suffering his fourth consecutive loss in the UFC, Woodley was subsequently cut from the roster. At the moment, the soon to be 40-year-old is a promotional free agent and has the freedom to do whatever he pleases.
Despite millions upon millions of dollars resting safely in his bank account and a likely gold jacket awaiting him the moment he walks away from combat sports for good, Woodley believes that his rivalry with Paul has reinvigorated him.
“That young hungry bull that went on that crazy run in the UFC and Strikeforce and all of these different organizations is back.”
In terms of what Woodley plans to do next, that’s an ambiguous question. While he built his name and legacy in the octagon, he isn’t ruling out a possible return to the ring. In the end, Woodley simply wants to continue brawling for as long as possible.
“I just want to fight man. I had already planned to fight four times next year. This doesn’t change the plan.”
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