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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Tyron Woodley after losing second straight at UFC on ESPN 9?

UFC on ESPN 9 went down this past weekend (Sat., May 30, 2020) inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Several fighters were left feeling the post-fight blues following a thrilling night of fights, including Tim Elliott, who suffered his third straight loss after being submitted by Brandon Royval.

And Hannah Cifers, who fell victim to Mackenzie Dern’s top-notch submissions skills, tapping to a kneebar in the second round (see it). But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Tyron Woodley.

Coming into his headlining bout against Gilbert Burns, Woodley had the competitive fire burning deep, as he hadn’t competed in 14 months and was ready to begin his road back to the title after being dominated by Kamaru Usman at UFC 235. And after having his bout against Leon Edwards scratched due to COVID-19, “The Chosen One’s” itch to fight was intensifying.

Early on, Woodley found himself in a real pickle, as Burns clipped him with a sneaky right hand and eventually dropped him with some follow up punches. While Tyron did recover nicely from that barrage, it was all downhill from there, as the former Welterweight champion simply couldn’t find the start button for his offense. While he did try to land a couple homerun shots, Burns was quick to nullify the attack and dish out his own.

It was pretty much the story of the fight for 25 minutes.

In the end, “Durinho” walked away with a clean sweep on the judges’ scorecards. Woodley, meanwhile, suffered his second straight defeat. After the loss, “The Chosen One” wasn’t about to offer up any excuses.

“Like I said, you can’t just get on the camera when you win, you gotta get on the camera when you lose, too,” Tyron said. “I felt good. I have no excuses. I felt good. I trained hard. I was in great shape. I felt like I did everything right. Everything felt good from the walkout to the stretch, to every single thing about the fight. I looked him in the eyes yesterday and knew he was going to be ready to fight, which I thought that was good. He did a good job of keeping the distance, not coming at the shots and I felt like I was reaching.”

Woodley’s climb up the ladder will be a bit tougher on the heels of back-to-back shutouts. And since Welterweight is competing in probably the most-stacked division under UFC’s umbrella, “The Chosen One” will have to be near-perfect to get back to a championship fight.

Woodley is talented, obviously, as evidenced by his participation in six title fights, but something hasn’t been clicking as of late. Perhaps a long-desired showdown against Colby Covington is what could get him going again.

The two have a long-standing beef that pre-dates any rivalry Colby has with Jorge Masvidal. They built up a good trash talking game between them, but the fight never came to fruition for one reason or another. With Covington coming off a loss to Usman, a win over Woodley could be a shortcut back to the title. For Tyron, taking out “Chaos” would not only settle an old score, but put him right back into the thick of things.

And when you look at the top contenders at 170 pounds, no one else really makes sense for either combatant.

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