Tyron Woodley Says ‘Politics’ Played a Role in his Decision to Part Ways with the UFC

Published 06/19/2021, 9:10 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 30: Tyron Woodley backstage during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)


Former UFC champion Tyron Woodley sat down with Brendan Schaub on the latest episode of Food Truck Diaries. ‘The Chosen One’ is gearing up for a new challenge and will be taking on Jake Paul in his debut. Woodley managed to pursue a run in the boxing ring after deciding that his time in the UFC was done.

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Woodley has competed in MMA for a long time and came into the UFC after a successful stint at Strikeforce. Fans have seen him in the cage for several years and have become accustomed to his fighting style. Chiefly, it was his penchant for violent knockouts that helped him rise to the highest ranks in the UFC.

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Tyron Woodley pulls back the curtain

Fans have wondered why Tyron Woodley decided to leave the UFC behind and chase down a new avenue in boxing. Many assume that it was because he was on a four-fight skid and that he was in the twilight of his career. However, Tyron Woodley clarified to Schaub that it was the direction that the sport was heading that ultimately led to his decision.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 18: Tyron Woodley poses on the scale during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in at UFC APEX on September 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“When I was a champion for a long time, it was always the belts had to be rotated, they had to be fought. Every pay-per-view had to have a main event with a belt on it. Sometimes when its someone like a Conor or Jon or somebody else, they had a little more freedom…But all these other pay-per-views got to be filled so these other champions had to be ready to fight. That’s why I fought those 4 world title fights in fu**ing a year.”

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“At the end of the day, I was just in a position where I didn’t like it no more. I didn’t like what it became. The politics was too involved, it was less of who’s the best in the world more of a what fight do you guys want to see.”

Woodley felt like the core essence of MMA began undergoing a change and he’s decided to pursue new avenues outside the cage. His stint in boxing against Jake Paul is sure to draw in a massive viewership as well as payment opportunities. Fans of the former D-1 All-American wrestler will be looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

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Darryl Pinto

1776 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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