By: Hans Themistode
We all became accustomed to watching Tyron Woodley step inside the octagon, close the steel door behind him, and do what he’s done for most of his mixed martial arts career, win. However, at the age of 39, Woodley is trying his hand at a new sport, boxing.
The former UFC welterweight champion is mere days away from taking on social media star turned de-facto boxer, Jake Paul. The two will clash in the main event at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, in Cleveland this Sunday, August 29th, in an eight-rounder.
For Woodley, he’s admitted that his showdown against Paul has netted him a career-high payday. That, in turn, has left many wondering if the former MMA star is simply interested in fattening his bank account one final time before pulling down the curtains on his fighting career. But while Woodley doesn’t become acrimonious when asked if he intends on stepping inside the ring one time and one time only, he does turn dead serious when explaining what his ultimate aspirations are in the sport of boxing.
“I’m not here for one fight against Jake,” said Woodley during an interview with Brian Custer on The Last Stand Podcast. “This fight against Jake is to show you that I am here. I ain’t going nowhere and I’m going to put hands on a lot of people. I’m going to get a belt.”
Currently, Woodley has multiple world titles sitting on his championship mantle at home. From July 2016 until March 2019, Woodley held the UFC welterweight title. Having defended his championship crown on multiple occasions and widely considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever, Woodley is proud of what he’s achieved. With that said, his shortcomings along the way still haunt him. Now, with a chance to put everything in the rearview mirror, Woodley views boxing as an opportunity to reach heights he never has in the octagon.
“MMA, I got into it at 23, I wasn’t a young MMA fighter. I got into wrestling to be an NCAA Champion and Olympic gold medalist, I didn’t get that. Then I got into MMA to be the best ever. I was a world champion multiple times but I never felt like I was the best ever. This is my last time in a sport to maximize and get to that top, top, top, top, top. I want a belt man.”
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