At UFC 214: Cormier vs Jones 2, Tyron Woodley displayed a very impressive performance against Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia. However, many felt his style of fighting was that of a coward. This has been a common theme of criticism towards Woodley ever since he won the belt last year after knocking out Robbie Lawler. Let’s take a closer look at “The Chosen One” and analyze the criticism he has received:
Tyron Woodley became a topic of discussion when he began blaming racism on his poor treatment as a champion. Many, including Dana White, felt this was Woodley just being a drama queen due to the lack of support for his argument. I, on the other hand, feel that his statements may have a bit of substance to them when you look at how much hate the current African-American UFC champions, such as Demetrious Johnson and Jon Jones, are given nowadays by the fans. I think many fans need to be more open to the issues he is trying to highlight instead of ignoring him the moment te word “racism” is uttered. I can understand if you want to disagree with his statements because it is a debated topic but I feel many people do not give him a chance to begin with. Of course, the blame cannot be placed solely on the fans. Woodley could benefit from expressing his opinions in a more clear and concise manner so that there is no confusion. I know Woodley can come off as whiny but I genuinely feel he is just misunderstood in this situation.
Style of Fighting
In his last three fights, Tyron Woodley was on the fence for the majority of the time. However he ended up winning two of those contests and got a draw in the other. Woodley claims that the reason for this is because it is up to his challengers to try to take the belt from him as he did when he faced off against Robbie Lawler. I can understand this and I also think that his style has been pretty genius. It may not be the most exciting fighting style but if Woodley’s only goal is to win title fights consistently then he has found the perfect strategy. He was able to survive Stephen Thompson’s excellent striking and dropped him in both bouts that they had. In his bout against Demian Maia he was able to stop around 24 takedowns and also landed some powerful punches that both dropped him to the mat at one point and swelled half of his face up. His style may be boring to some but you cannot deny success it has had on his title run as of late.
Willingness to compete
One thing that is constantly overlooked about Tyron Woodley is how often he fights as well as who he chooses to defend his belt against. So far Woodley has competed in at least two fights every year in his career except for 2015. This is pretty active for a fighter especially a champion. So expect his next fight to be at the end of this year. He also has been facing only the top contenders in his division which is a huge plus as a champion. He has not been pushing for the Georges St-Pierre fight that could give him a pretty generous payday and is instead content with fighting the top contender if the GSP fight does not happen. This is something a lot of his haters like to ignore when they call him a coward. He accepts all contenders and challenges them to take his belt away.
As you can probably tell by the way I have described Tyron Woodley in the last few paragraphs, I am 100% behind Woodley and his behaviour. He may come off as a whiner but his ability to win fights (despite the tactic being boring) and face top contenders frequently are the main reasons me and many others are fans of him. I feel if anyone does not like the man then they need to ask themselves what kind of fighters they do like and why. If they answer those questions then they will be surprised to see how much in common “The Chosen One” has with them. If you still hate Woodley after that then you are a R A C I S T! (just kidding)