5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) / 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st) / Welterweight
Tyron Woodley is considered by some as one of the most heavy-handed welterweights. His right hand just puts people to sleep. What makes Woodley entertaining is obviously his explosiveness, where he could go 0 to 100 in just a matter of seconds.
Woodley nicknamed “The Chosen One” started his major MMA promotions at Strikeforce where he had a record of 10-1. He went on to fight for the Strikeforce Welterweight belt but fell short against Nate Marquardt, it was also his first-ever knockout loss. Even Woodley has said that Marquardt was the most powerful striker he ever faced.
Woodley then transferred to UFC where he faced Jay Hieron for his debut. Woodley knocked out Hieron in just 36 seconds, it was one of the most impressive debuts. It showed how explosive Woodley is to landing the right hand.
In his next fight, he lost to Jake Shields via split decision. Shields was utilizing his high-level grappling to neutralize Woodley’s power. The fight was close but the judges gave it to Shields via split decision.
Woodley vs Koscheck
After that, Woodley landed one of the most vicious knockouts against Josh Koscheck. It was known as one of the most satisfying knockouts as well since not many people like Koshcheck’s antics in his past fights. The way Woodley could explode in just seconds was really scary plus he had a great pull counter.
Woodley was ready to climb and fight for the title soon so he fought former interim champion, Carlos Condit where he threw a leg kick that injured Condit that halted the fight at the second round.
He then faced a rising prospect Rory Macdonald and lost pretty decisively. Macdonald was so much bigger and stylistically was difficult for Woodley. Macdonald went on to fight for the title against Lawler and fell short.
The recent loss gave Woodley another minor setback but he was still willing to climb the rankings and the goal is still to become a champion. He faced Dong Hyun Kim where he won via knockout in the first round.
A fight with Kelvin Gastelum was then booked where the fight was at a catchweight since Gastelum couldn’t make weight. The fight was fought at 180lbs and it was a close fight. It could have gone either way, and two judges gave it to Woodley.
Becoming the UFC Champion
UFC granted Woodley his first title shot and it was against his former teammate, Robbie Lawler who was coming off a brutal war against Rory MacDonald. Woodley manage to time his right-hand bomb that knocked Lawler out in the first round making him the new welterweight champion.
Woodley vs Thompson 1
His first defense was against Stephen Thompson where he was the underdog despite the champion. In the first round, Woodley managed to catch Thompson’s kick that led to a knockdown. It was a one-sided round for Woodley but as the Thompson was able to recover.
There was also a moment that Woodley locked in a guillotine choke but Thompson managed to survive. The fight was close where Woodley landed better punches but Thompson was more active overall. The fight was declared a majority draw.
Since it was a draw, a rematch was booked but it did not live up to the hype, the fight was a bit lackluster but Woodley managed to win via majority decision.
In his next fight, he faced BJJ expert Demian Maia. He defended all takedown attempts by Maia and cruised to a comfortable decision win. Woodley was heavily criticized by the UFC for not looking for the finish when he was winning but it was also smart for Woodley to not let the fight be on the ground.
There was a bit of issue with the division as Woodley was injured so the UFC booked an interim title fight for Covington and Rafael Dos Anjos, and Covington won the fight via unanimous decision.
When Woodley was ready to fight, it couldn’t work for Covington’s timeline so the UFC instead booked Woodley vs Till. Woodley was the underdog once again, but he showed why he is the champion by picking Till apart in the first. In the second round, Woodley landed a pull counter that knocked Till down and Woodley landed a barrage of elbows and punches.
Eventually, Woodley secured a D’arce choke that submitted Till. After the fight, Woodley not only defended his belt successfully but was also awarded a black belt in BBJ by his coach.
Downfall of Woodley’s career
The downfall of Woodley started when fought Kamaru Usman, it was like Woodley could not let his hands go and Usman just capitalized all throughout. Usman dominated all five rounds even as close to finishing in the fourth round. Woodley lost his belt.
He was then scheduled to face Leon Edwards but due to the pandemic, it was Gilbert Burns instead who stepped in on the short notice. The fight was also unfortunate for Woodley as he was again dominated all 5 rounds. In the early part, he even got knocked down.
Woodley was not ready to give up, he faced Colby Covington. It did not go well for Woodley again as he has a tendency of backing up at the cage and Covington took advantage of it.
At that time, UFC was trying to cut many declined fighters and Woodley was likely to be cut but he was given another chance against Vicente Luque. In the fight, Woodley started aggressive, even hurt Luque a bit but was too durable. Luque then landed on a counter that knocked Woodley that led to submission.
Woodley vs Paul
Woodley was eventually cut by the UFC. Fortunately, Woodley got a massive payday as he signed a contract to fight Jake Paul in a boxing match. Even though Woodley lost via decision, he managed to hurt Paul in the fight. It was just that Woodley did not take full advantage against a hurt Paul.