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Morning Report: Tyron Woodley targeting fights ‘people give a f*ck about’ in 2022, wants four fights in ‘four different forms of combat’

Jake Paul v Tyron Woodley Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Tyron Woodley made the jump to professional boxing earlier this year when he lost a split decision to YouTuber-turned-celebrity-boxer Jake Paul in their much ballyhooed pay-per-view event. Following the loss, Woodley campaigned aggressively for a rematch with Paul, which Paul shut down.

But while Woodley may not be taking on Paul next year, the former UFC welterweight champion still has big plans for 2022, including boxing, MMA, and maybe something else as well.

“Sh*t, we had a ball,” Woodley told Fight Hub TV at the Triller Triad Combat event this past weekend. “I felt that I won the fight, but at the end of the day, how did I really even lose? I feel like I won, I put on a show, I showed that I’m in shape, I showed that I come to fight, and for eight rounds straight I was walking him down and putting it on him.

“So I’m just excited to be my own boss. I’m really the only real, true free agent in the whole sport. Nobody is a real combat free agent, but I am. I can go box, I can come fight here [at Triller Triad Combat]. ... I can do whatever I want to. So I’m really enjoying that freedom. Next year I plan on fighting four times in four different forms of combat. MMA; some form of boxing; an actual, real boxing fight; and do something special for New Year’s.”

Four fights in a year would be a busy schedule for anyone, but especially so for Woodley, who has not competed that many times in one year since 2009, his first year as a professional MMA fighter. But at 39 years old, Woodley is eager to compete as much as possible next year. He only has one stipulation: The fights, whatever sport they take place in, need to be as big as possible.

“January, March, July, and December,” Woodley said of his targeted timeline. “I’m just trying to have a fight that people give a f*ck about. I don’t care about the belts and names and all that. If people care about it and it’s a big fight, and it’s really built up really well, that’s what I want. If it’s not that, I don’t care about, ‘Oh, he did this and he beat (him),’ because it didn’t matter when I was doing it. I was at the top forever. I was three, four years without losing to nobody, didn’t lose a f*cking round, and it never monetized to the bags I’m getting now. So 2022, January, March, July, December, some asses getting beat.”

Of course, the fight Woodley wants the most would be a rematch with Paul. Immediately after their fight in August, Woodley called for a rematch and even got an “I love Jake Paul” tattoo as part of a pre-fight bet between the two that became a post-fight requirement from Paul for a rematch to happen. Nonetheless, Paul ultimately rejected Woodley, instead opting to face Tommy Fury, the half-brother of world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and a former contestant on the reality television program Love Island. It’s a fight that Paul and Fury began setting up at the Paul-Woodley event, but one that Woodley thinks very little of.

“No disrespect, but what the f*ck,” Woodley said. “Nobody even spoke about Tommy’s fight after he fought the MMA fighter. Did you? Nobody speculated him and Jake. Jake just said him because he didn’t want to fight me. I wasn’t what he expected. They told him I was gonna back up, I’m old, I’m washed up, I’m chinny, and he got in there and it was a way different story. I think I’m a more difficult challenge for him than Fury.

“Fury can’t ride his brother’s name. His combined record of his opponents is like 14-100 and some change. So it’s gonna be a fight just because they’ve got on some gloves, but I really, in my mind, I’m not really into it.”

Even though Paul currently has a dance partner, Woodley isn’t ready to completely give up on getting his rematch. Paul and Fury face each other on Dec. 18 in Tampa, Fla., and after that, Woodley said the opportunity still exists for he and Paul to run it back.

When they do, he said, this time things will be different.

“I think we will [rematch],” Woodley said. “I don’t think he wants a rematch, but at the end of the day, if it happens, I’ll get the job done this time. I’ll knock him out.”


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