It won't be wrong to say that Tyron Woodley has lost the last 15 rounds of his MMA career and in a completely dominant fashion. After an impressive outing against Darren Till where Woodley handed the British fighter the first loss of his career, Woodley has lost three straight fights inside the octagon.
Tyron Woodley dropped the Welterweight Championship to Kamaru Usman in a lopsided unanimous decision loss to the Nigerian Nightmare. Usman dominated Woodley on the ground and managed to take him down multiple times throughout the five rounds despite an impressive 90% takedown defense by the former Champion. Scheduled to face Leon Edwards next, Tyron Woodley took on former Lightweight contender Gilbert Burns after Edwards bout fell through due to the pandemic. Coming off a brutal KO win over former title contender Demian Maia, Gilbert Burns put up a dominant performance against Tyron Woodley and dominated him throughout the five rounds of the fight to hand Woodley the second straight loss of his MMA career.
Once the king of the Welterweight division with a title reign of over four years and multiple title defenses against the likes of Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson, and Darren Till, Tyron Woodley once against succumbed to Colby Covington this past weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 11 via TKO in the fifth round. Woodley revealed that he popped his rib-cage in the third round of the fight, and popped it once again when he was trying to get up with the guillotine on Covington in place.
"I'm not retiring, I'm not giving up. I'm not switching up all my coaches. I'm not changing the continent I'm living on. I'm not doing all of that. Some s**t 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 happens next". - Woodley during Instagram Live
Soon after the conclusion of the fight, UFC President Dana White stated that probably it's time for the former Champion to start thinking about resting his gloves. However, Tyron Woodley showed no interest in retiring and rightfully so.
Tyron Woodley continues to compete against the absolute best
It's hard to deny Woodley's dominant Championship reign which kickstarted with a brutal KO win over Robbie Lawler at UFC 201 back in 2016. Woodley would go on to defend his title belt against some of the most prominent names in the history of the Welterweight division. Woodley used to be a force to be reckoned with during his time as the Welterweight Champion. He was huge, athletic, and someone with a rare mix of world-class grappling and solid knockout power at the Welterweight division. Woodley used to carry his right lead hand to hurt his opponent and then go for a takedown and finish them with brutal ground and pound. There used to be a gameplan to Woodley's fight, and despite the criticism of "boring fights," Tyron Woodley's title reight will go down as one of the greatest in the Welterweight division.
However, recently, we have not seen the Woodley we have grown up admiring. Additionally, it's important to note the caliber of fighters that he has been fighting. In the past, not many fighters would have opted to grapple with Tyron Woodley, however, the fighters from a much younger generation in the form of Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, and Gilbert Burns are ready to take the fight to the ground even against Woodley if they have to.
Tyron Woodley needs to go down and find his rhythm
Tyron Woodley has maintained that he had small setbacks in his MMA career due to the fame that came with holding the UFC Welterweight Championship. Woodley has fought top-ranked opponents in his last two fights, and there's a reason to believe that the former Champion should go down and face a top-10 ranked opponent next.
Tyron Woodley looked much better against Colby Covington and engaged much more than what we have seen from him from his last ten rounds against Usman and Burns. With no plans of retirement, Woodley will look to make some changes in his approach. We have not seen Woodley go for the takedown and try to keep the fight on the ground in the recent past, and there's a reason to believe he could be looking for another KO win on the lines of Robbie Lawler win from back in 2016 to announce his return. However, that has led Tyron Woodley to hold his punches and take more damage as the fight goes forward.
With huge pressure on his comeback fight after Usman loss, and in the grudge match against Colby Covington, Woodley will look to mentally prepare himself for a return to the octagon. With nothing on the line, Tyron Woodley should be at his absolute best in his next fight.Published 23 Sep 2020, 14:16 IST