Whether you like his fighting style or not, reigning UFC welterweight titleholder Tyron Woodley is a dominant champion.
Gifted with incredible power and discipline inside of the cage, Woodley has quickly ascended the welterweight rankings en route to becoming one of the best fighters the division has ever seen. The only problem is that Woodley’s fighting style is sometimes labeled as “safe,” making fans frustrated with the lack of action in his fights.
As Woodley gears up for a crucial title defense opposite undefeated striker Darren Till later this evening (Sat., Sept. 8, 2018) at UFC 228 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, he has no plans of changing up his approach to fighting. Instead, “Chosen One” is doubling down on his cautious ways.
“I’m not going to force an opportunity because the crowd wants to see me go when they want me to go,” Woodley said on a recent edition of 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.”
It’s hard to blame Woodley for taking his time inside of the cage because he has matched up against some of the most puzzling contenders the sport has to offer. Woodley not only had to solve the confusing fighting style of Karate wizard Stephen Thompson twice, but he had to avoid the legendary grappling of Demian Maia for 25-straight minutes.
The champion hasn’t finish a fight since knocking out Robbie Lawler to claim the UFC welterweight title back in 2016, but that’s not entirely his fault. So even though fight fans want to see “Chosen One” unleash hell against the best contenders at 170 pounds, that’s not how it always plays out.
“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 explained.
“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.”
Despite his incredible UFC track record, Woodley still has much to prove as he aims to go down as the best welterweight of all time. Defeating Till this weekend in Dallas will help “Chosen One” inch closer to his goal.
Unfortunately for Till, Woodley believes UFC 228 will turn out the same way his previous fights have, especially if “Gorilla” is expecting a one-dimensional approach from the champ.
“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.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 228 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FX at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.