Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 170-pound champion Tyron Woodley is not retiring from mixed martial arts (MMA) simply because he lost his UFC Vegas 11 main event to top-ranked welterweight contender Colby Covington last weekend at APEX.
There are other factors at play, of course, like the fact that “The Chosen One” is halfway to his 39th birthday, as well as a professional record that reflects three consecutive losses to top-shelf competition. Perhaps it’s too late in the game for Woodley to start over?
“I’m not retiring, I’m not giving it up,” Woodley said on Instagram Live (via MMA Fighting). “I’m not switching all my coaches up. I’m not changing the continent I live on. I’m not doing all that. Some shit didn’t happen and guess what? I don’t know why it didn’t happen. I did everything to make it happen. Now we just take a deep breath and see what’s next.”
UFC President Dana White was one of the leading retirement voices in the wake of last weekend’s defeat. Aside from the broken rib that called a halt to the action in the fifth and final frame, Woodley looked completely outmatched the entire fight.
There’s a pretty good chance Woodley will drop out of the Top 5 when the official rankings are released later this week, and with a serious injury keeping him on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, it’s hard to say where “The Chosen One” will end up as the division — and its future stars — continue to roll along.