But with Fury now scratched from the Dec. 18 bout, Woodley doesn’t want to hear about Hardy. During a virtual media day promoting Woodley vs. Paul 2, which headlines a Dec. 18 pay-per-view on Showtime, he shut down a question about his U.K. rival.
“Why are we even talking about Dan Hardy?” Woodley said. “We’re talking about Tyron Woodley and Jake Paul, the biggest fight of the year. So let’s respect myself and respect Jake Paul, because we’re the ones that put asses in the seats. Dan Hardy ain’t touched a face in 10 years.”
That was essentially Woodley’s case when Hardy pushed for a showdown with the ex-champion by jabbing him on Twitter over the split decision loss he suffered to Paul in August. Hardy, a free agent after an acrimonious split with the UFC, saw an opportunity as he evaluated options for his comeback after deciding to come out of retirement. But with a lucrative rematch on the table with Paul, Woodley pushed aside a fight with his former UFC colleague.
Respect hasn’t oozed from Woodley before or after his showdown with Paul, though he’s never taken for granted the YouTuber’s skills in the ring. Even though he believed he won their first meeting, he honored a bet to tattoo Paul’s name on his body. The timing wasn’t to Paul’s liking, and Fury entered the picture shortly thereafter. But the reminder is still there — not that Woodley wants to talk about it.
Asked to show off the “I love Jake Paul” ink posted on Instagram in the weeks after the fight, Woodley said flatly, “No, I cannot. I’ll show you the other end of it, though.”
Then the ex-champ flipped off the camera with a smile. After a beat, he reconsidered and flashed the tattoo, or at least a part of it.
This time around, the bet is $500,000 if Woodley can knock out Paul. And the YouTube star says it’s inked in — but this time, on the contract.
That’s a wager Woodley said he’s happy to take.
Check out Woodley’s full interview above.